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How Tallahassee ranked as strongest economy in a metro area

Posted at 6:06 PM, Jul 10, 2024
  • One study ranks Tallahassee as number one in economic strength in the US for a metro area
  • While area leaders are highlighting the achievement, neighbors have mixed reactions to the title
  • Watch the video to find out more about the study and to hear from those neighbors

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

One study ranks Tallahassee as having the strongest economy in the US for a metro area.

While area leaders are highlighting the recognition, a lot of people are questioning this considering their financial struggles. Digging into the study and some of those reactions.

Neighbors have mixed reactions to the to the City of Tallahassee's recent Facebook post highlighting our city has been ranked number one in economic strength in the country for a metro area.

"It is a pretty good place to live, it is a pretty good place to work, it is a pretty good place to start a career," said neighbor, John Hill.

"I understood it as something of a one-sided misrepresentation that was just so out of touch with the experience most of us are having," said Jade DiGirolamo, another neighbor.

This recognition is from a study carried out by Area Development magazine and Chmura Economics and Analytics analyzing data from various sources including the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and US census.

24 indicators were assessed like job growth and unemployment rates for 384 metro areas.

Tallahassee was ranked number one for economic strength.

DiGirolamo said she was shocked because so many families are struggling with inflated prices from groceries to housing.

"I haven't gone out to eat maybe in about 5 to 6 months," said DiGirolamo. "It used to be more of a once or month or twice a month kind of thing for my family."

Hill said he does understand this perception,

"I've been through hard times and the economy changes and the economy changes and the economy is cyclical and right now we're in a cycle that is presenting us with high grocery prices," said Hill.

Hill said this is difficult but hopefully temporary. He has been impressed by the opportunities afforded to him here over the last several decades.

"It's been my good fortunate to know more of the entrepreneurial people and see them take off and develop ideas into businesses," said Hill.

Keith Bowers, with the Office of Economic Vitality, said this recognition speaks to the development here, especially in industries such as science and technology.

"Investments in our small existing businesses and medium-size businesses that are here in the community have placed on job creation and growth and expansion," said Bowers.

However, neighbor Katryna Carey, said she can't take part in visiting these new developments right now.

"We're building things we can go and hang out in, but how are we supposed to do that if we can't even afford groceries right now," said Carey.

I ask Bowers how the the title of strongest economy fits when we are seeing local businesses close down around town.

"Different factors have led to businesses closing some of it has to do with inflation," said Bowers. "Some of it has to do with interest rates. Some of it has to do with being able to access workforce."

Even though DiGirolamo said life is not difficult for everyone right now, "there's just such a stark difference between those who are and those who are not," said DiGirolamo.

Bowers said this title will put Tallahassee on the radar of different corporations to consider our city as their next location to develop. If you have thoughts on this survey, I'd love to hear from you about your experience. You can contact me at 850-509-3271 or at Maya.Sargent@wtxl.tv.