2021 Annual Economic Review


The Annual Economic Review is a one- and five-year retrospective of the 13 indicators featured in the quarterly economic dashboard. Annual data gives wider context than quarterly updates, enabling the evaluation of long-term strategic objectives.

Whether an indicator is positive, negative, or neutral depends upon one’s perspective. Policymakers like tight labor markets more than employers do. Home sellers like rising median sales prices more than homebuyers do. Small businesses looking for space like higher vacancy rates more than commercial property investors do. One person’s opportunity may be another’s threat.


  • Tallahassee MSA employment averaged over 186,000 in 2021, a 5.1% increase from 2020 and 3% higher than 2017. Annual average employment rose in four of the past five years.
  • The average weekly wage in 2021 was $990, up 6.6% from 2020 and 19.3% more than in 2017. The mean year-to-year increase over the past five years was roughly 4.3%.
  • Unemployment averaged 4.2% in 2021, down 2.2 points from 2020 and up slightly from 4.1% in 2017. The annual average unemployment rate decreased in four of the past five years.
  • Unemployment claims totaled over 11,700 in 2021, which was a 68% decrease from the all-time high in 2020, and 6,300 more than 2017. Unemployment claims have fallen in four of the past five years.
  • The labor force was over 194,000 in 2021, up 2.8% from 2020 and was 3.1 % higher than in 2017. Labor force increased in four of the past five years.

Real Estate

  • The median sales price of a single-family home in the Tallahassee metro area was over $273,000 in 2021, up 10.4% from 2020 and over one-third higher than in 2017. The median sales price increased each of the past five years.
  • Mortgage foreclosures in Leon County totaled 131 in 2021, down about 15% from 2020 and down 75% from 2017.
  • Single-family construction permits in Leon County totaled 828 in 2021, up nearly 22% from 2020 and almost 13% higher than 2017. Except for 2018, permit activity has increased each of the past five years.
  • The office vacancy rate was 6.4% in 2021, up a half point from 2020 and up 2.7 points from 2017. The office vacancy rate rose in three of the past five years.
  • The industrial vacancy rate was 1.1% in 2021, down 0.9 points from 2020 and 4.6 points lower than in 2017. The industrial vacancy rate fell in four of the past five years, and in eight of the past ten years.


  • Tourist tax receipts for the Tallahassee metro area came to $6.9 million in 2021, up 57% from 2020, 13.7% more than in 2017, and just 6% less than the all-time high of 2019. Before the economic interruptions of 2020, tourist tax receipts had increased each year since 2010.
  • Passenger traffic at Tallahassee International Airport came to almost 658,000 in 2021, up 74% from 2020 but down 10.2% from 2017. In 2021, passenger traffic nationwide was up over 80% from 2020, but down 40% from 2017.
  • Taxable sales came to nearly $6 billion in 2021, up 20.7% from 2020 and up almost 25% from 2017.

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