State of the Region


On behalf of the USF Muma College of Business, we are proud to present the 2024 Tampa Bay E-Insights Report that unveils new research tracking the state of our economy, with a special focus on affordability and talent, in the Tampa Bay region.

This companion piece to the Tampa Bay Partnership’s Regional Competitiveness Report examines how our region compares to top markets across many dimensions, revealing insights policymakers can apply to decisions that will make our community the best place in the nation to work and live.

This timely analysis considers our region’s attractiveness in terms of job opportunities and living conditions in this post-pandemic era. Our scholars investigated real-time big data to compare Tampa Bay’s performance to 19 other metropolitan statistical areas in the three economic domains.

What Gets Measured is What Gets Done

Since 2017, the University of South Florida has worked with the Tampa Bay Partnership on this important research. This collaboration provides a powerful example of our commitment to leveraging analytics and critical thinking to generate impactful, innovative solutions for our community. Together, we can transform our region’s future by identifying economic challenges and partnering with civic leaders like you to elevate opportunities for Tampa Bay. Graduate students worked alongside our faculty on this inquiry, gathering and analyzing data to prepare this report, experiencing the unique opportunity to generate insights that will create a brighter future for our community.

To improve our economic health, we must know where we stand relative to similar and aspirant communities. However, we should not stop there. We want to apply science to support the decisions of community leaders to make Tampa Bay an attractive destination for both businesses and those who live and work here. Understanding that what gets measured is what gets managed, we can then use the data to follow our progress and make relevant recommendations for maximum impact.

Real-Time Signals, Real-Time Findings

This research stands out for deriving insights from real-time big data across several dimensions from sources such as Google Trends, Indeed, Zillow and Numbeo. We also use statistics from traditional economic indicators to gain a holistic perspective. This approach assesses the economic health of the metro region as it relates to affordable housing, education, healthcare, job postings, innovation and entrepreneurship. The historical trend analysis enables us to identify policy initiatives that could boost the inclusive economic growth of the Tampa Bay region.

The analysis reveals the mixed blessings of the Tampa Bay region’s incredible growth on both affordability and workforce indicators. While some cost-of-living measures like utilities remain lower than the national average, the region’s popularity for domestic migration has led to housing and transportation cost increases. Our region’s talent pipeline shows promise thanks to below average tuition rates, increased STEM degree production, and rising business establishment rates.

For our region to continue to thrive, the research suggests that wages and infrastructure must grow as its population, housing demands and traffic increase. We hope the insights in this report will provide policymakers and business leaders with the knowledge to overcome these growing pains as the world discovers the allure of living and working in Tampa Bay.

GJ de Vreede

GJ de Vreede
Interim Dean
USF Muma College of Business

Shivendu Shivendu

Shivendu Shivendu
Associate Professor
USF Muma College of Business

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