Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Florida unemployment hits record 12% in Dec. 2010, Tampa Bay among weakest markets in US

3/15/11, "Brookings: Tampa Bay among hardest-hit metro areas in U.S.," St. Petersberg Times, J. Harrington with its marks for housing particularly dismal, according to a study released Monday.

The analysis by the Brookings Institution compares the top 100 metros nationwide based on 16 measures.

The report doesn't give an overall ranking for metros. However, Tampa Bay ranked in the

Two categories related to housing stuck out, but not in a good way.

The region ranked worst in the country for quarterly change in the number of houses that were taken by banks. Its 3.7 percent drop in housing prices over the quarter was

  • second-worst in the country.

Overall, the recovery of the country's metro areas has been "slow, uneven and inconsistent," Brookings' Metro Monitor report concluded. The economies suffering the most were tethered either to the auto industry

  • or to the housing boom-and-bust.

Locales that suffered the least relied substantially on

  • government, health care, education, or oil/gas. ...

"We're starting to see metro areas recover, but jobs are recovering at a glacial pace," said Howard Wial, a Brookings fellow and co-author of the report....

Based on revised numbers released by state officials last week, Florida's unemployment rate hit a record 12 percent in December, and

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