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Business Observer Friday, Dec. 25, 2009 12 years ago

Economic Snapshot: Gulf Coast Employment

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The Gulf Coast has lost nearly 91,000 jobs in the one-year period ending Nov. 30.

What the data shows: Total non-agricultural employment for the metropolitan areas of the Gulf Coast in November. The data is not seasonally adjusted.

What it means: The Gulf Coast has lost nearly 91,000 jobs in the one-year period ending Nov. 30. On an annual percentage-change basis, the Naples-Marco Island area posted the largest decline. Collier County's anti-growth reputation, high taxes and notoriously difficult business-permitting process contributed to its bottom ranking. In addition, Naples was the last area of the Gulf Coast to feel the effects of the recession. Only Punta Gorda fared better than the statewide decline (-3.7%) in employment on an annual percentage-change basis.

Forecast: The winter tourism season will likely bring more employment to hard-hit areas such as Naples and Fort Myers, but annual comparisons may continue to be unfavorable if visitors fail to show up as forecast. And it's not clear what will happen when spring ends and the slow summer season returns. Areas such as Naples and Sarasota continue to be difficult places to create small businesses because of high taxes and onerous permitting processes. Local government's persistent anti-growth attitude in Collier and Sarasota counties will constrain job creation.

November employment
Area Employment % Annual chg.
Punta Gorda 40,600 -3.1%
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater 1,159,700 -4.3%
Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice 249,100 -5.6%
Cape Coral-Fort Myers 195,500 -6.4%
Naples-Marco Island 114,500 -7.5%
Source: Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation

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