TAMPA, FL – CareerSource Tampa Bay (CSTB) CareerSource Tampa Bay commissioned a study to look at the regional skills gap in the Tampa Bay region or the Metropolitan Service Area (MSA).
“It’s important for the community to understand where we have skills gaps,” said CareerSource Tampa Bay’s President & CEO. “Once we define these gaps, we can work with our educators and businesses to help train workers to fill those jobs, particularly those in-demand jobs with livable wages and career pathway that promotes advancement. This study is part of the ongoing discussion we are having with these groups.”
In the report, completed by EMSI/Burning Glass, the research identified four career areas where skills gaps exist in the Tampa Bay region because they remain in high demand, despite broader economic challenges caused by COVID-19.
In the Tampa MSA, the economic downturn in 2020 led to a substantial decline in job postings, but job postings have since recovered. The four target career areas combined, have seen a 25% increase in postings between January 2019 and December 2021. Employment in the region has yet to fully recover.
The target career areas reflect the job makeup of driver industries in the Tampa MSA, like the insurance, professional services, and accommodation sectors, and emerging, high-growth areas like the arts, real estate, and warehousing & storage. The target career areas, particularly Business & Finance and IT & Math are also representative of the MSA’s status as Florida’s center for business and information service activity.
Another key finding of the research showed that despite having a larger concentration of talent in Business & Finance and Hospitality, Recreation, & Personal Services compared to the U.S. average, only the former is experiencing a substantial gap between employer demand and workforce supply in the Tampa.
Significant overrepresentation exists within low-paying but in-demand career areas—Transportation & Warehousing—for three target populations in Tampa (Black, Hispanic, and female workers).
The Black and Hispanic working populations represent 14% and 21% of 2020 jobs in the Tampa MSA, respectively. Male workers account for half of the jobs. Yet in the Transportation & Warehousing career area, Black workers comprise 20% of the workforce, Hispanic workers account for 25%, and male workers account for 75%. Online retail has caused a surge in jobs for warehouse laborers, forklift operators, and materials movers, and the demand for this career area has followed suit. In the Tampa MSA, postings have increased for Warehousing jobs in the last two years. Stockers & order fillers, for example, had a 46% growth, but the occupation has an hourly wage of less than $13.00.
More than 10 roles have been identified in the Tampa MSA as the initial step of career pathway opportunities to address equity gaps.
The low-wage roles, found in a variety of entry-level positions like caregiving, retail sales, and food service, have transition opportunities into in-demand careers, particularly those in Business & Finance, Healthcare, and IT & Math.
The new roles provide excellent entry-level experience for workers to gain foundational skills that can translate to better paying, more secure roles in the future.
Nearly all identified pathway opportunity roles have an overrepresentation of Black, Hispanic, and female workers in the Tampa MSA. Many, particularly those in caregiving and food service, have above-average employment in several of the target populations. All told, the opportunity roles present a substantial supply of regional workers to transition into a diverse set of in-demand careers, including business analysis, drafting & engineering, and supply chain management.
The full report and access to additional online tools are available on the CareerSource Tampa Bay website at www.CareerSourceTB.com/skillsstudy
About CareerSource Tampa Bay
Programs and initiatives are sponsored by CareerSource Tampa Bay and the State of Florida, Department of Economic Opportunity, and fully supported by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Agriculture as part of awards totaling $23,321,277.
CareerSource Tampa Bay works with businesses and candidates to leverage their training, retraining, and competitive opportunities in the workforce. CareerSource Tampa Bay provided 173,319 services to 37,054 active Wagner-Peyser individuals during the program year 2019-2020. CareerSource Tampa Bay, with our five career centers, is the single largest source of job candidates in the region, from entry-level to executive-level candidates. We work closely with all Veterans.
Businesses can access CareerSource’s wide range of services that include recruiting, training for new and existing employees, targeted hiring events, and retention support strategies. All resources and services are provided at no cost to both businesses and job candidates. Programs funded through CareerSource Tampa Bay are equal opportunity programs with auxiliary aids and services available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Persons using TTY/TTD equipment use Florida Relay Service 711. A proud partner of the American Job Center network to learn more, visit www.careersourcetampabay.com.