Tallahassee-Leon County Economic Indicators

The Office of Economic Vitality is the region’s most comprehensive economic data source. Our dedicated team of expert analysts track approximately 80 metrics – providing all the information you need to get to know us quickly and well. Use the interactive graphics to see how our past and present are shaping the bright future of Florida’s Capital Community. Simply click on any of the following categories to quickly access the information you need: Workforce & Income, Residential & Commercial Development, Economic Factors, Community & Environment, Demographics, Education, and Innovation. For a comprehensive list of Annual Data Downloads, please see our Statistical Digest.

For a customized report or to ask questions, email the Research & Business Analytics team.

Top Economic Indicators

What are Top Economic Indicators? Leading economic indicators which have the potential to forecast where an economy is headed (i.e. retail sales, building permits, housing market) and lagging economic indicators that indicate how the economy changes over time and can help identify long-term trends (i.e. income and wages, unemployment rate, GDP). These help create a picture of the current performance of our local economy as well as how it will do in the future and include: Employment, Unemployment Rate, Non-Agricultural Employment by Industry, Wages and Establishments, Initial Claims for Unemployment Compensation, Taxable Sales, Leon County Tourism, New Construction Permits, New Single-Family Construction Permits, GDP, Single-Family Detached Home Sales and Median Price (Closed), Mortgage Foreclosures, Tallahassee International Airport Traffic Statistics


Total non-farm employment growth for the Tallahassee MSA for 2019 was 2%, a net increase of 3,600 jobs. Total private employment was up 2% (gain of 2,400 jobs) in 2019 and government employment was up 2% over the year (1,200 jobs).

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Unemployment Rate

The annual average local unemployment rate has continued to fall since 2010. Leon County’s annual average unemployment rate for 2019 stood at 3.1% (3.2% for the Tallahassee MSA and 3.1% for the State of Florida).

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Non-Agricultural Employment by Industry

Private sector job growth in 2019 was led by gains in Professional & Business Services (1,000 jobs), Education & Health Services (600), Leisure & Hospitality (600), and Mining, Logging, and Construction (600).

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Wages and Establishments

The average annual wage in Leon County in 2019 was $45,269, 14% below the state average wage of $51,757. The annual average state government wage was 4.8% higher in Leon County compared to the state average while the local government wage in Leon County was 12.7% lower than the state’s average.

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Initial Claims for Unemployment Compensation

Initial claims for unemployment compensation in Leon County declined for the eighth straight year in 2019.

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Taxable Sales

Taxable sales data for various Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) are popularly used as one indicator of regional economic activity. These data are derived from sales tax returns remitted to the state Department of Revenue each month. Taxable sales are those sales subject to Chapter 212, Florida Statutes. Sales tax is levied generally on sales of goods, but not services, although there are some taxable services. The overall level of taxable sales increased 6.4% in the Tallahassee MSA in 2019.

For the Tallahassee MSA, four of the six categories exhibited an increase in taxable sales each year between 2013 and 2019. Building Investment increased on average 7.6% each year; Business Investment, 7.5%; Autos & Accessories, 5.5%; Tourism & Recreation, 3.9%; Consumer Nondurables, 2.1%; Consumer Durables, 1.3%. Taxable sales make up an estimated 40-45% of all retail sales.

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The tourist development tax is a local option tax based on the total payment received for hotel and motel rooms and other short-term rentals. In 2019, Tallahassee metro area tourist development tax receipts totaled $7.4 million, up 10% from 2018.

In FY 2019, 2,438,959 visitors visited Leon County, up 3% from FY 2018. Direct expenditures of visitors amounted to $659.1 million in FY 2019, an increase of 14.4% from FY 2018.

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New Construction Permits

There were 571 permits issued for new single-family (detached and attached) homes in 2019, giving an average of around 510 units built per year in the 2010s, compared with the annual average of 1,260 new single-family construction permits issued per year in the 2000s, 1,500 per year in the 1990s, and 1,650 per year in the 1980s.

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New Single-Family Construction Permits

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GDP by Metro Area

In 2018, the Tallahassee Metropolitan Area’s (MSA) Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was $16.3 billion, up 2.8% from 2017, trailing Florida’s Real GDP growth rate of 3.2% (and 3% for the US), placing the Tallahassee MSA among the top 40% of metro areas nationwide and 16th among Florida’s 22 metro areas.

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Single-Family Detached Home Sales and Median Price (Closed)

In 2019, the median sales price for single family homes was up 5.7% in Leon County and 5.6% for the Tallahassee MSA, compared with 2018.

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Mortgage Foreclosures

Mortgage foreclosure cases increased by 17% in 2019 when compared to 2018, after six consecutive years of declining annual totals of mortgage foreclosure cases in Leon County.

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Tallahassee International Airport Traffic Statistics

Passenger traffic at Tallahassee International Airport increased 6.7% in 2019 from 2018 and was 18.3% higher than the 2014-2018 annual average of 730,842.

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