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Old June 28th, 2007, 04:31 PM   #1
Jasonhouse
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Are young professionals better off in St. Petersburg than Tampa?

Are young professionals better off in St. Petersburg than Tampa?

The St Petersburg Times
By Jay Cridlin
Published June 27, 2007

http://www.sptimes.com/2007/06/27/Wo...fessiona.shtml



Last week, Forbes.com released its annual list ranking 40 major American cities by their attractiveness to young professionals.

Tampa came in dead last.

However, as anyone who lives and works in Pinellas County will tell you, there's a big distinction between "Tampa" and "Tampa Bay." So we wondered: Using Forbes' criteria, how would St. Petersburg stack up against Tampa? Which bay area city better serves young professionals? Here's Forbes' breakdown of Tampa, and ours of St. Petersburg.

Peers and dating

Tampa: Writes Forbes reporter Matt Woolsey: "It's just a slightly older person's town. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Tampa sits second-to-last among cities ranked for the number of those aged 20 to 35 and last for how many people in that demographic have never been married." Last year, Tampa ranked 36th out of 40 in a Forbes survey of the best cities for singles.

St. Petersburg: In 2005, 20 percent of Tampa's population was between the ages of 20 and 34, while just 17.2 percent of St. Pete's population fell into that range. On average, Tampa residents are five years younger than St. Pete residents - 36.2 years to 41.1 years. But when it comes to dating, St. Pete has a higher percentage of young people who've never been married, especially among women.

The verdict: Tampans might be younger, but you're more likely to meet someone single in St. Petersburg.

Jobs

Tampa: "Tampa tied Detroit and Indianapolis for third-to-last in the number of 400 best big businesses and 200 best small businesses that call the city home. This significantly hampers Tampa's ability to attract top-flight grads and young professionals, as our graduate tracking metric indicates."

St. Petersburg: Three local companies made this year's Forbes 400 list - one from Tampa, one from Clearwater, and one from St. Pete - and no companies made the Forbes 200.

However, Tampa did place four companies on Fortune's list of the nation's 1, 000 largest companies, compared to just one each for St. Pete and Clearwater.

The verdict: Forbes may not think as highly of some Tampa companies as Fortune does. But if a graduate is looking for a high-powered career, he or she might be more likely to pick Tampa over St. Pete.

Salaries

Tampa: "A recent college graduate working in Tampa earns 2.7 percent less than the national average for an entry-level position."

St. Petersburg: We're not privy to all of Forbes' data, but almost across the board, entry-level salaries in St. Petersburg are slightly higher than those in Tampa, according to Salary.com's Salary Wizard.

The verdict: Entry-level employees might make a tad more in St. Pete, but the difference is usually less than a few hundred dollars a year.

Cost of living

Tampa: "Tampa finished with the lowest salary to cost of living score in our 40-city study."

St. Petersburg: The median income for single households in St. Pete is about $2, 800 less annually than for those in Tampa. (One possible explanation: St. Pete's higher retiree percentage). Either way, homes have always been more expensive in Pinellas County than in Hillsborough, which doesn't help St. Pete's score here.

The verdict: Frankly, Forbes has us stumped. This is the same magazine that called Tampa a "bohemian beauty" in last summer's list of 150 Cheap Places to Live. "Tampa and sister city St. Petersburg have blossomed into enviable economic beauties, " Forbes wrote then, "with thriving local job markets, low costs of living, and sundrenched spots on the crystal blue waters of Tampa Bay." And no young professional would ever want those things, would they?

Sources: Forbes, Fortune, U.S. Census Bureau, Salary.com, CollegeGrad.com.



Forbes' top cities for yuppies:

1. New York

2. San Franciscso

3. Atlanta

4. Los Angeles

5. Washington D.C.

32. Miami

35. Orlando

40. Tampa
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Old June 29th, 2007, 05:52 AM   #2
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^

At least Miami and Orlando are among the bottom ten too (lol).
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Old June 29th, 2007, 08:44 AM   #3
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Basically, it looks like a tie between Tampa and St. Pete.

I'm still laughing about: "... and sundrenched spots on the crystal blue waters of Tampa Bay."

I'm either fishing in the wrong bay or I'm color blind.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 09:01 AM   #4
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...Well we got GASPARILLA... So screw you other cities.
hahahahahahahha.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 04:20 PM   #5
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If I were single I wouldn't choose Tampa Bay either without having a good job lined up. Even then maybe not. My impression is, (and I live here) This area doesn't have much of a pulse. Things don't happen here very fast. No sense of energy. It's not backwards, just slow.

If you want crystaline water, visit a spring.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 04:34 PM   #6
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^or Siesta Key
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Old June 29th, 2007, 05:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlaNatv View Post
If I were single I wouldn't choose Tampa Bay either without having a good job lined up. Even then maybe not. My impression is, (and I live here) This area doesn't have much of a pulse. Things don't happen here very fast. No sense of energy. It's not backwards, just slow.

If you want crystaline water, visit a spring.
I agree with that assessment. But not the pulse part. I think things have been slowly dying as of late that makes it seem it has no pulse, but I think that is situational. I think the city has leadership issues accross the board
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Old June 29th, 2007, 08:48 PM   #8
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Cloudy Skies For Tampa's Young Professionals
Matt Woolsey, 06.21.07

Sunshine most of the year and beaches nearby make Tampa a good place to live or have a second home, but neither counts for much in the eyes of those looking to climb the corporate ladder.

Tampa came in last on our list of cities best for young professionals. Behind Detroit. Behind Indianapolis.

The main reason? It's just a slightly older person's town. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Tampa sits second-to-last among cities ranked for the number of those aged 20 to 35 and last for how many people in that demographic have never been married.

In Pictures: Best Cities for Young Professionals
In Depth: Ladder Climbers Sweet On The Big Apple

Digging a bit deeper, just over a quarter of Tampa's housing stock is comprised of investment and second home buyers, according to Moody's Economy.com. Snowbirds and out-of-towners don't do much for young professionals looking to let loose.

On the business side, Tampa tied Detroit and Indianapolis for third-to-last in the number of 400 best big businesses and 200 best small businesses that call the city home. This significantly hampers Tampa's ability to attract top-flight grads and young professionals, as our graduate tracking metric indicates.

We used alumni data from six elite universities across the country to find out where their grads landed 10 years out of school. Tracking where young professionals end up not only indicates where the best opportunities lie, but also taps into a city's entertainment and lifestyle pulls.

Data from the Class of 1997 for Harvard, Princeton, Duke, Stanford, Rice and Northwestern (excluding alumni who stayed in-state after college) placed Tampa 32nd out of the 40 biggest cities. Other cities in the South performed well in this measure. Atlanta was fifth, Austin seventh, Nashville 13th, and New Orleans was 17th overall. Florida as a whole struggled. Orlando came in 31st and Miami was 33rd.

What's worse for Tampa is that when costs add up, salaries aren't high enough to cover them. A recent college graduate working in Tampa earns 2.7% less than the national average for an entry-level position, according to New York-based Mercer Human Resource Consulting, which would be fine were it not for the high cost of living. Tampa finished with the lowest salary to cost of living score in our 40-city study.

But then again, there's no pricing for the value of sunshine in the winter months.

http://www.forbes.com/2007/06/21/cit...0621tampa.html
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 10:30 PM   #9
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Anecdotally, I wouldn't rank the area as low as Forbes. It seems like there is a lot more going on in the Tampa Bay area for young professionals than in times past. If I graduated college in '97, Tampa Bay likely was not on the radar. Today, it might be worth considering. I know several young professionals, fresh out of college (like me) that moved to the area, and really like it. It seems to be gaining momentum, but has a long way to go.

I would say that the area, IMO, lacks the energy and hype that other areas have. Even Orlando gives the impression of a city that's going somewhere. Orlando has a real "go-getter" attitude, whereas the Tampa Bay area is much less aggressive, IMO. Also, because the area is so vast geographically, and alternate (mass) transportation is not that great, it seems it's hard to get people together. Tampa has it's own network, St. Pete has a network, Clearwater is doing it's own thing...However, if efforts were truly made to get all the young professionals together from all throughout the bay area, it might surprise people how many actually live in the area. For instance, I like the Emerge Tampa group that, I believe, the C of C sponsors. Why not partner up with other C of Cs in the area and create an Emerge Tampa Bay?

At any rate, I think the area is ok. It's more of a place I would choose to settle down and raise a family in, but it's not too bad to be young, upwardly mobile and single.
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Old July 4th, 2007, 08:29 PM   #10
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I don't like rankings like this at all, because they can be manipulated, dependig what kind of parameters you are using. You can make any place look good or bad, depending on what you want.

BTW Tampa or St. Pete? Both! To me it is ALL ONE, the Tampa Bay area, no matter if you are in Clearwater, St. Pete or Tampa.
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