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Tampa Bay Partnership finds slightly better employment outlook in region than Florida

Women are disproportionately affected by job losses.

The Tampa Bay Partnership estimates the Tampa Bay region is faring slightly better than other regions and the state as a whole in terms of unemployment stemming from the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The group released an analysis Wednesday outlining five weeks of unemployment claims totaling more than 100,000 as of April 4, the most recent date for which Florida Department of Economic Opportunity data was available at the time of the study.

The analysis found the Tampa Bay region is faring better than Orlando, South Florida and the state as a whole with a smaller percentage of residents who filed claims, 4.39%.

Unemployment related to the pandemic is felt the most among women and younger, less educated residents. Women have filed nearly 61% of the region’s claims while people younger than 34 have filed nearly 42% and people with a high school diploma or less have filed nearly 40% of claims in the region.

All of those percentages significantly exceed the demographics’ overall share of the Tampa Bay workforce.

Not surprisingly, hardest hit industries including restaurants and hospitality make up a disproportionate amount of unemployment claims compared with the overall presence in the local workforce with nearly 59% of all claims coming from those industries, which makes up just 26% of the overall workforce.

The analysis also shows a potential disproportionate effect on low-income and minority communities with claims concentrated in urban and working-class neighborhoods. Some of the unemployment hot spots include Holiday, New Port Richey, West Tampa, Town ’N Country and central St. Petersburg.

The Partnership developed an interactive map tracking unemployment trends in the region by zip code.

The research is a collaboration between the Partnership, the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, United Way Suncoast and the University of South Florida Muma College of Business.

It’s the latest in a series of “State of the Region: COVID-19 Community Reports.”

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at Janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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