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Media Contact: Stacey Swank
Pinellas   County   Economic Development
(727) 464-7425 or  sswank@pinellascounty.org

Pinellas on Track for a Bright Economic Future

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla (July 16, 2018) -   From 2015-2017, Pinellas County's employers created 5,730 new high-wage jobs in primary industries, exceeding the original 3,958 job goal set in a 2014 study.

A primary industry is one that sells the majority of its goods or services outside of the local economy, thereby bringing new money into the local area. These funds are then distributed throughout the community via local purchases made by the primary companies and through the payroll of its employees. This increased volume of local sales transactions helps spread the new money to all sectors of the economy.

"Economies grow in size based upon the volume of money flowing into an area. Economies grow in quality based upon what individuals earn each year, as what they earn determines their 'economic quality of life'," says the study's author, William H. Fruth of Policom Corporation.

The initial job creation goal was defined in the 2014 Pinellas Economic Development Goal Study and updated reporting was detailed in the Economic Development Performance Evaluation for Pinellas County, July 2018.

Examples of primary industries include manufacturing, corporate headquarters, financial services, and information technology. High wage primary jobs are important because they raise overall wages in the local economy and increase community wealth.

Because these industries sell their products everywhere, they can locate anywhere. They don't have to be in Pinellas County. The job of economic developers is to convince these firms that they have distinct business advantages with a Pinellas location. These include low taxes, low business costs, and the availability of a quality workforce. 

"Pinellas is on track for a strong economic quality of life," shared Mike Meidel, the Director of Pinellas County's Economic Development Department. "We can influence job creation within our targeted primary industries in Pinellas, and our continuing goal is to create more and better jobs for our citizens."

"Pinellas is the first built-out county in Florida," said Commissioner Kenneth Welch, Chairman of the 2018 Pinellas Board of County Commissioners. "By proactively addressing our redevelopment strategies and the needs of our employers, we're working to ensure that our community continues to be a very attractive location for growing and attracting companies to create jobs."

The 2018 Economic Development Performance Evaluation details strong growth in jobs and wages in 2015 and 2017, with a dip in both criteria is 2016. The final totals and averages for all three years show the county ahead in creating target industry jobs, but points out the need to work harder to achieve the top goals set for the average annual wages.

The original 2014 Economic Development Goal Study projected the condition of the Pinellas County economy to the year 2030 if there was no effort by the community to influence economic growth. Three economic growth scenarios were created based upon the formation of new primary jobs. For each growth scenario (minimum effort, good effort, strong effort), annual milestones were established.

The projections were based upon the impact of dominant issues affecting Pinellas County's growth. The lack of greenfield industrial property inhibits the growth of traditional target industries and means the County must be proactive in order to attract new target employers. Pinellas must work to identify and redevelop improved and approved sites that are suitable for primary employers - an issue addressed at the 2017 Pinellas Economic Leadership Symposium.

Learn more about Pinellas County's economy at the Pinellas County Economic Development Data Center www.pced.org/datacenter, and keep up with redevelopment initiatives in Pinellas at www.PinellasByDesign.org.

Pinellas County Economic Development (PCED) works with existing businesses to encourage expansion and seeks to attract new companies with high-wage careers to our community. Through investment tools, business classes, professional consulting services, trade missions to open new markets, and strategic partnerships, PCED fosters a pro-business environment and promotes the ideal business climate of Pinellas County, Florida.

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