GULF COAST EMPLOYMENT
Area Employment %Annual change
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater 1,122,100 -3.0%
North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota 245,100 -4.1%
Punta Gorda 39,200 -4.4%
Cape Coral-Fort Myers 198,100 -4.8%
Naples-Marco Island 110,200 -5.7%
Source: Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation
What the data shows: Total nonagricultural employment for the five areas of the Gulf Coast in February and the annual percentage change. The numbers are not seasonally adjusted.
What it means: Starting in the Tampa Bay area, the further south you travel, the steeper the annual percentage decline in employment. The Naples-Marco Island area had the steepest annual percentage drop in employment of any area in the state. Employment fell 2.8% statewide and every area of the Gulf Coast fared worse than that.
Forecast: Despite the grim news, the annual changes in employment have been fewer in numbers of employed people than in previous annual comparisons. For example, the Tampa Bay area lost 34,300 jobs in the year ended Feb. 28, but it lost 55,200 for the one-year period ended Sept. 30, 2009. This indicates the pace of layoffs is slowing. On this track, positive annual employment comparisons could occur later this year or early in 2011 if the economy continues to recover.