2020 Annual Economic Review


The Annual Economic Review is a one- and five-year summary of the 13 indicators featured in the Quarterly Economic Dashboard. Annual data gives a macro perspective, allowing comprehensive objectives to come into full focus.

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.

For the Tallahassee metro area, employment in 2020 averaged 178,325, down 5.5% from 2019 and 0.4% less than in 2016. Annual average employment rose in four of the past five years.

Unemployment claims totaled 37,182 in 2020, an increase of 655%, or over seven times the total in 2019. Before the record surge of 2020, unemployment claims had fallen in three of the past five years.

Single-family construction permits in Leon County totaled 681 in 2020, up 1.3% from 2019 and 22.5% higher than in 2016. Permit activity increased in four of the past five years.

The median sales price of a single-family home in the Tallahassee metro area was $248,000 in 2020, up 9.3% from 2019 and nearly one-third higher than in 2016. The median sales price increased each of the past five years.

Tourist tax receipts for the Tallahassee metro area came to $4.4 million in 2020, down 40% from 2019 and 23% less than in 2016. Before the economic interruptions of 2020, tourist tax receipts had been increasing each year since 2010.

Passenger traffic at Tallahassee International Airport came to 378,137 in 2020, 56% less than in 2019 and down 47% from 2016. Local traffic was slightly better than the national trend: in 2020, passenger traffic nationwide was down 62% from 2019 and 56% less than in 2016.

Unemployment in 2020 averaged 6.0%, up from 3.2% in 2019 and up from 4.7% in 2016. The annual average unemployment rate decreased in four of the past five years.

The average weekly wage in 2020 was $929, up 6.8% from 2019 and 15.7% more than in 2016. Average weekly wages for the Tallahassee metro area typically increase around 2.5% per year. In 2020, total wages increased 2.9%, while average monthly employment fell -3.6%. The decrease in employment offset the increase in total wages. Had average monthly employment in 2020 been the same as in 2019, the average weekly wage would have only increased 2.9%, similar to the 2.5% average of recent years.

Mortgage foreclosures in Leon County totaled 154, down 65% from 2019 and down 71% from 2016. The five-month suspension of foreclosures statewide may have influenced the 2020 total.

The office vacancy rate in 2020 was 6.1%, down from 6.7% in 2019 and up from 4.4% in 2016. The office vacancy rate fell in three of the past five years.

The industrial vacancy rate in 2020 was 2.1%, down from 2.4% in 2019 and down from 6.7% in 2016. The industrial vacancy rate fell in four of the past five years, and in eight years since 2010.

The labor force of 189,795 in 2020 was down 2.6% from 2019 and was 1.0% higher than in 2016. Labor force increased in four of the past five years.

Taxable sales came to nearly $5 billion in 2020, down 6.9% from 2019 and up 4.7% from 2016. 2020 was the first time since 2010 that taxable sales decreased from the prior year.

To view the 2020 Annual Economic Review, visit the OEV website.

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