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Labor market posts significant gains in the region | Business Observer


At least three of the region’s largest counties – Hillsborough, Lee and Sarasota – have set monthly resort tax collection records, as the tourism tap opens across Florida. Other counties and cities also regularly post robust tourism figures.

Yet while tourism is booming, jobs in the industry are lagging behind. The Bureau of Labor’s latest monthly statistics report, for example, found that the hospitality and entertainment industry remained down by some 9,000 jobs in the Tampa area from February 2020 levels.

The region’s hospitality and leisure sector added 1,800 jobs in October, according to an analysis of BLS data from commercial real estate company CoStar. This brought its cumulative recovery to about 88% of the 72,000 jobs lost in the first months of the pandemic.

The report, on the whole, shows a mix of results when it comes to resuming jobs in the event of a pandemic. Three more categories – government, education / health services, and manufacturing – are joining recreation and hospitality not yet reverting to pre-pandemic levels. Five other sectors, with professional / business services leading the way with 20,000 new jobs, have seen job gains since February 2020. The Tampa area has seen a net gain of 12,500 jobs, according to the report.

This latest nugget is good news for the Tampa office market. About 2,600 professional and commercial, financial and information services jobs were created in October in Tampa, which “pushed the total number of office jobs to levels of 6.3%.” higher than before the pandemic, ”says the CoStar report.