Local Leaders Report Tallahassee has Fastest Growing Economy in Florida, But Can’t Explain Why

Local Leaders Report Tallahassee has Fastest Growing Economy in Florida, But Can’t Explain Why

The Mayor’s Office, the City of Tallahassee and the Office of Economic Vitality (OEV) are publicly stating that Tallahassee has the fastest growing economy in the state of Florida despite questions about the data used to support the claims.

From the Mayor’s Office twitter account: “The numbers don’t lie, folks! #Tallahassee has the fastest growing #economy per capita in #Florida! ”

From the OEV’s twitter account: “Tallahassee metro area has the fastest growing economy per capita in the state.”

From the City of Tallahassee retreat agenda: “the Tallahassee metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is the fastest growing economy (per capita) in the State of Florida.”

These claims are based on a comparison of the Gross Domestic Product per Capita released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis for 2016.

The data shows that the GDP per Capita for the Tallahassee Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is 3.8% and is the highest of all MSA’s in the state of Florida, outpacing the state (0.6%) and national (0.8%) 2016 GDP per Ccapita growth rates.

These numbers mean the economy in Tallahassee grew approximately six times as fast as the Florida economy in 2016.

However, the significant difference in the economic growth rate between Florida and Tallahassee is not consistent when you compare job growth ( Florida: 2.8%, Tallahassee: 2.1%) and taxable sales (Florida: 5.3%, Tallahassee: 4.0%) during 2016.

The “fastest growing” claims, based on 2016 numbers, also come in the face of more recent information that shows Tallahassee is lagging when compared to other cities in the state of Florida in job growth, real estate sales, and consumer spending.

From October 2016 to October 2017, when comparing Florida’s 22 MSA’s, Tallahassee ranks 22nd in job growth, 14th in the growth of single family homes sales, and 13th in retail sales growth.

Based on these facts we did some research and placed a call to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

This is what we found.

First, the 3.8% growth in the GDP number is driven mostly by the finance component of the GDP calculation. The finance component of the GDP calculation includes economic activity associated with  Federal Reserve banks, securities, commodity contracts, insurance carriers, funds, trusts, and other financial vehicles.

This component increased by a whopping 38% – approximately $280 million – from 2015 to 2016. This growth accounts for approximately 30%-40% of the 3.8% per capita growth rate.

So why did this component grow so much in Tallahassee? What does this growth mean for the local economy? Where are the tangible benefits of this growth in Tallahassee?

These are the questions that are currently being researched by officials at the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

TR also called the Office of Economic Vitality, but OEV was not prepared to provide answers to our questions. OEV said they would research the issue.

17 Responses to "Local Leaders Report Tallahassee has Fastest Growing Economy in Florida, But Can’t Explain Why"

  1. James   January 9, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    I suspect that this increase in economic activity is a direct result of our airport achieving International status. All these new international flights are bringing quite a bit of wealth and job creation to our city!

    Reply
    • News Maven   January 11, 2018 at 8:44 am

      Good one, lol! Actually, I think it’s due to the Gaines Street/College Town development, combined with construction in new subdivisions in NE Tallahassee. All related to building (the loans segment of the calculation.)
      And we all know how certain builders are connected to the City.

      Reply
  2. Barney Bishop III   January 9, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    If OEV can’t answer the question then they were foolish to even make the statement…how sad…the folks that promote economic development can’t even justify their own statements. Nor can they explain what the numbers mean and how they were arrived at. Another example of real problems with economic development in Tallahassee. To say that we’re the fastest growing economy in Florida is, well, silly, unless it can be justified.

    Reply
  3. Vernon   January 9, 2018 at 9:35 pm

    If they say we had the fastest growing economy in Florida, they are using criteria that doesnt show where the growth is…which is meaningless. As you travel around Florida you can “see” where the growth is…Tampa, St Pete, Orlando, Jacksonville to name a few…but Tallahassee…I think not.

    Some bureaucrat is trying to manipulate this report for political reasons no doubt…which candidate for governor do you think this report would help the most?

    I will be suspect of any reports coming out of the OEV from here on.

    Reply
  4. Russell Price   January 9, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    Using statistics, one can show that a man with one hand in boiling water, and the other hand in ice water, should be perfectly comfortable.

    Reply
  5. Major Villum   January 10, 2018 at 5:06 am

    Here are the OEV players: http://oevforbusiness.org/about-us/our-team/.

    So Gillum, the ‘City of Tallahassee’ (also known here as the Communication Department/Faris) and OEV (Penigree) got together after Soros tossed Gillum $100K and they put together some numbers – and the data grew legs, turned into Information to be communicated to the masses and then walked away from them.

    They put together their team to cherry pick the ‘data’ they chose to use to present this carefully crafted inexplicable statement. You will now hear this sound bite repeatedly from Gillum and Company.

    Ask for the data and info – this is all based upon; what is Penigee and staff’s salary, anyway? This is their (OEV’s) attempt to statistically justify themselves, promote Gillum as doing something and to try and get some type of non-negative press out there.

    There is a common theme to COT; wasn’t the current ‘acting’ City Manager in charge of utility Marketing?

    Call it what it is…

    Reply
    • Thomas C. Hooker   January 10, 2018 at 9:45 am

      You should look at who Pingree is related to and how he got the job.

      Reply
  6. NoDeepState   January 10, 2018 at 6:42 am

    Tricky Little Ricky is clearly behind this as a means to keep ahold of his pension. Or is it Soros, who hates all Americans, with his dark state puppeteers trying to keep the sheeple of Tallahassee placated so his mentor in corruption, Gillum, can ascend to the governorship? In any case, if the economic team at TR can’t get to the bottom of these numbers, they must indeed, be fake news. Great investigative reporting team. Keep it up.

    Reply
  7. James Anderson   January 10, 2018 at 6:49 am

    Don’t worry they will have to retract this bogus data but will hide it for several months.

    Reply
  8. Major Villum   January 10, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    A definitive and quick retraction by COT would be the best thing Gillum and Company can do at this point; otherwise COT will be justifying this claim to Governor Scott shortly.

    Reply
  9. Anhaica   January 10, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    I think this article refutes the information provided by the City of Tallahassee and the OEV:
    https://wallethub.com/edu/fastest-growing-cities/7010/#thomas-barrie

    Tallahassee’s ranking is not good at all. Good try, Gillum and company.

    Reply
    • Vernon   January 10, 2018 at 7:27 pm

      Good post Anhaica…this report is much more believable than the OEV. It list 31 cities in Florida with a higher growth rate than Tallahassee.

      Reply
  10. phil   January 10, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    it is probably the only parameter that Tallahassee does well in; job growth, increase in income, crime, all we don’t rank well.

    Reply
  11. Anhaica   January 10, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    It looks like the Tallahassee Democrat bought into the City’s claim, even though other outside sources say Tallahassee is waaay behind numerous other cities in Florida.

    Reply
  12. Major Villum   January 11, 2018 at 4:49 am

    Dear Governor Scott,
    Would you please request the State Department of Economic Opportunity: 1) obtain data and information and then 2) critique the City of Tallahassee’s claim of being the ‘fastest growing economy in the State of Florida’?

    This issue and claim is symptomatic of a tail wagging the dog management practice.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  13. Mike   January 11, 2018 at 8:31 am

    Sounds like Gillum is trying to proclaim some statistical piece of puffery for his “campaign” for governor. Gillum is already beaten, but he’s too egotistical to see that, as was Hillary.
    Statistical lies won’t help Tallahassee, but Gillum’s resignation ( or better yet, indictment! ), along with all the other COT elected officials and most of their staffs, certainly would.

    On the plus side, I’m glad Soros just wasted another $100K of his money.

    Reply

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