The Tampa Bay Partnership, in collaboration with the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and United Way Suncoast, recently released the 2018 Regional Competitiveness Report. The report looks at how our region compares to a number of other cities on indicators of economic health and prosperity. Most importantly, it sets benchmarks so that we can know how well we are doing in the future.

Tampa Bay was compared to communities considered peers. And it was compared to regions we aspire to be.

The results, to be updated annually, enable leaders in our community to set priorities and measure progress.

The research looks at six main areas:

  • Economic Vitality. Job growth, wages, household income, home sales, business opportunities, etc.
  • Innovation. University research & development, patents per 10,000 residents, Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer awards.
  • Infrastructure. Pedestrian safety, commute times, walkability, airport traffic, transit ridership.
  • Talent. Preschool enrollment, high school graduation rates, degree attainment, participation in the labor force.
  • Civic Quality. Crime, air quality, affordability, culture/recreation, children in foster care, number of physicians.
  • Outcomes. Poverty rates, migration, gross regional product growth, unemployment.

Many who have looked at the report consider talent development as a key to economic growth and prosperity for our region. That’s one of the reasons the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and other partners formed the Leap Tampa Bay College Access Network. The network’s goal is for 60% of working age adults in our area to have a degree or high quality certification by 2025 to meet the local workforce demands.

Here’s an example of the report’s comparisons of how many adults have associate degrees:

To see all the data, read the full report here