Tampa’s job market, taken in total, went from really terrible to just kind of terrible in one month in May, giving optimists hope that maybe a better-than-expected recovery is percolating.
The region, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, lost 157,000 jobs in April. Most of these losses were concentrated in retail, heath services and leisure and hospitality, according to an analysis of the BLS data from real estate firm CoStar.
But the region gained back nearly 36,000 jobs in May, singling, according to CoStar, that the “economic recovery appears to have begun quicker than expected.” Roughly two-thirds of the employment gains were in leisure and hospitality, which after leading the metro area in job losses in April, posted the strongest May rebound.
The loss leader in the Tampa area was the government sector, which shedded some 3,000 jobs in May. With government coffers taking a coronavirus pandemic hit, that number could certainly grow in future months.
The May Tampa report overall echoed the data on a national level, where the BLS reported a gain of 2.5 million jobs — highly exceeding expectations. Also on a national level, the Tampa region, reports CoStar, “has held up better than most U.S. markets during the pandemic and has posted among the lowest relative employment losses since mid-March.”
One reason could be that Tampa has diversified its economy over the past two decades, adding tech and financial services jobs. “This appears to have provided a cushion against severe job losses seen in tourism or manufacturing-dependent markets,” the report states.