A number of Tallahassee government, business, and community leaders headed to Greenville, S.C. this week on a fact finding tour that is scheduled to last until Wednesday.
One of the reported purposes of the trip is to determine if there are any economic development ideas being implemented in Greenville that can be replicated here in Tallahassee.
This trip comes just ahead of the initial collection of Blueprint economic tax dollars that will begin in 2020.
Listed below is a comparison and analysis of nonfarm employment profiles for both the Tallahassee and Greenville Metropolitan Statistical Area’s (MSA).
The first chart reflects employment growth for the Tallahassee MSA. The chart shows that the level of nonfarm employment in 2019 has increased 8.5% from 2009. The number of jobs in 2009 was 172,600 compared to 187,300 in 2019.
The second chart, of the Greenville MSA, shows that the level of nonfarm employment in 2019 has increased 19.3% from 2009. The number of jobs in 2009 was 361,600 compared to 430,600 in 2019.
The comparison during this time frame shows the Greenville MSA growing twice as fast as the Tallahassee MSA.
However, the graph below shows that the Tallahassee MSA did not begin the employment recovery from the Great Recession until mid-2013.
Since mid- 2013, the Tallahassee MSA has experienced a 10.7% increase in nonfarm employment growth compared to 12.3% growth in the Greenville MSA.
An analysis of the job numbers before and after the Great Recession shows that the Tallahassee MSA lost 7% of nonfarm employment over a 3.5 year period beginning in 2008. In contrast, the Greenville MSA lost 10% of nonfarm employment in a 1.75 year period beginning in 2008.
The means the Greenville MSA lost more jobs in the Great Recession than the Tallahassee MSA, but over a shorter period of time. The Greenville MSA economoy experienced a quicker recovery than the Tallahassee MSA.
This faster recovery is explains why the Greenville MSA nonfarm level of employment in 2019 is 12% higher than the pre-recession level, while the Tallahassee MSA level of employment in 2019 is 4.7% higher when compared to pre-recession levels.
The question for Tallahassee’s leaders this week, is what characteristics have made the Greenville MSA economy more resilient after the great recession?