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  • 2023

Full-Time Worker Poverty RateTampa Bay


  • A growing number of working adults are finding that their wages do not keep them out of poverty despite having a job.
  • Educational attainment plays a significant factor. The quality of part-time jobs can vary tremendously based on a worker’s education level.
  • Federal Poverty Levels do not capture cost of living increases at the local level. For example, consumer prices in Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area grew at 7.3% compared to the U.S. average of 4.0% for the year ending May 2023.

In 2023, the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) was $30,000 for a family of four. This measure is not adjusted to reflect cost of living differences across the U.S. and therefore, does not capture the current cost of basic household necessities. Given the Tampa Bay region’s rising cost of living relative to the nation as a whole, the number of households in financial hardship continues to be undercounted in o icial measures. While, federal emergency pandemic measures and economic policies provided critical support for economically challenged families during the COVID-19 pandemic, these measures only provided temporary assistance.

2021 Poverty Rates by Race

The Tampa Bay region experiences higher poverty rates for Whites, Asians, and White Non-Hispanics as compared to the State of Florida and the U.S. as a whole. However, the poverty rate for those individuals identifying as Hispanic or Latino and Black or African American, ranks higher in Tampa Bay than in Florida, but is lower than the U.S. as a whole.

2021 Worker Poverty Rates

Higher poverty rates are experienced across all Tampa Bay counties for individuals only working part-time compared to full-time workers. Across the U.S., the number of individuals employed part-time for economic reasons has decreased over the last decade, except for a sharp increase in 2020. Some notable downsides to being a part-time worker include the lack of health insurance and contribution to retirement accounts. Furthermore, the quality of part-time jobs can vary tremendously based on a worker’s education level.

Higher educational attainment makes a difference. Individual counties follow this trend, where the higher the educational attainment, the lower the poverty rates. However, the share of the Tampa Bay population age 25 or older receiving bachelor’s degrees differs significantly by race/ethnicity.