Coronavirus impacts: Tampa Bay region facing more economic loss than most of country


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A new analysis from the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council is predicting that the Tampa Bay area may be one of the hardest-hit economies in the country following the spread of COVID-19.

The preliminary economic assessment was produced this week. It collected and analyzed data from the World Health Organization, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and the Brookings Institute, as well as the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projections to gauge how the local economy will fare.

Though Florida has fewer cases than many other states, the pandemic could cost 218,000 jobs of the nearly 2 million in the Tampa Bay Area and about 1.36 million jobs throughout Florida this year. Many of those are part of the state’s $86 billion hospitality industry.

Last week, more than 850,000 people statewide had applied for unemployment.

A growing number of COVID-19 deaths could create additional strain on the economy as well.

“Each individual who dies no longer spends money in the economy or generates demand for intermediate investment in production and supply chains that provide goods for future sales,” the analysis says. “Depending upon the age of the deceased, increased mortality could decrease consumer spending over a decade or more than would otherwise be expended had the deceased recovered from the disease.”

The Council expects more than a 10 percent loss to employment, personal income and total economic output because the state is especially vulnerable to tourism and consumer spending.

“The increased mortality rate will lead to an 11.4 percent loss in the state Gross Domestic Product and 11.7 percent in the Tampa Bay Area,” the anaylsis says.

That 11.7 percent loss translates to only $20.9 billion of the previously estimated $179 billion in local economic output for the remainder of 2020.

An update from the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council is expected in the summer.

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