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  • 2020

Average WagesTampa Bay


  • Tampa Bay’s Finance and Insurance sector employees enjoy the highest average annual wages – $80,494 – among the ten sectors that account for a significant portion of regional employment.
  • Overall, wages are highest in Hillsborough County, although the highest average annual Manufacturing (Pinellas) and Finance and Insurance (Sarasota) wages are found elsewhere in the region.
  • Tampa Bay wages in targeted sectors such as Manufacturing, Information and Finance and Insurance underperform those in comparison areas.

Annual Average Wage by Leading Sectors

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is a 2- to 6- digital hierarchy used by statistical agencies to group businesses by activity, from very broad categorizations (such as Construction) to very specific descriptions (such as Tile and Terrazzo Contractors). The highest level of NAICS hierarchy is the 2-digit sector, of which there are 20. In Tampa Bay- and in most economies – 10 of the 20 sectors account for the vast majority of employment.

In the table below, the 10 sectors for which average annual wage data by Tampa Bay county are presented account for 80% of Tampa Bay’s total private employment.

Of note for the sectors examined, the Finance and Insurance sector generates the highest average wage in each of Tampa Bay’s counties except Hillsborough, for which the Information sector (news, telecommunications, software programming, etc.) yields the highest average wage. Hillsborough sector establishments pay the highest average wage in all but 3 of the 10 sectors examined: Manufacturing (Pinellas) Finance and Insurance (Sarasota) and Other Services (Polk).

Tampa Bay Average Wages by Select Sector

While these selected sectors constitute 4/5ths of regional employment, average wages vary widely, with some sectors above the regional average and others below.

The following chart displays the average wage for these 10 sectors in comparison to the average wage for all sectors.

Several of these Tampa Bay sectors exhibit a strong wage premium vis-à-vis the All Industry average: Finance and Insurance (+67%), Professional and Technical Services (+57%), Information (+51%), and Manufacturing (+20%). Wage premiums are also evident in the Health Care and Social Assistance (6%) and Construction (4%) sectors.

Additionally, the sectors with double-digit wage premiums typically export (or are able to export their goods or services outside the region, resulting in new money for the economy. These characteristics are often given as the rationale for their inclusion – in one form or another – as “targeted industries” of economic development organizations (EDOs).

Average Annual Wages by Target Sector Across Florida Metros

For many years, and certainly since the nadir of the Great Recession, there has been significant and concerted effort by the several Tampa Bay EDOs to attract, retain, and encourage the expansion of firms in these sectors.

The chart that follows depicts how wages in these targeted sectors fare compared to the three other large Florida metros (JAX-ORL-SFL), the 19 comparison markets (RCR Average) and the nation (United States).


Like the preponderance of Tampa Bay counties, the JAX-ORL-SFL group finds its highest average wage in Finance and Insurance. Outside the state of Florida, Information provides the largest average wage. With respect to each of the four target sectors, Tampa Bay sees its sector wages rank last across the board. In many cases, the Tampa Bay metric is significantly below the JAX-ORL-SFL average, let along the RCR and United States averages.

In the context of the Tampa Bay region’s relatively low Gross Regional Product per capita, these wage discrepancies likely point to a mix of specific industries with a lower value add within each broad sector, versus the comparison markets.

(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages)