• Join your peers at SSTI's 2024 Annual Conference!

    Join us December 10-12 in Arizona to connect with and learn from your peers working around the country to strengthen their regional innovation economies. Visit ssticonference.org for more information and to register today.

  • Become an SSTI Member

    As the most comprehensive resource available for those involved in technology-based economic development, SSTI offers the services that are needed to help build tech-based economies.  Learn more about membership...

  • Subscribe to the SSTI Weekly Digest

    Each week, the SSTI Weekly Digest delivers the latest breaking news and expert analysis of critical issues affecting the tech-based economic development community. Subscribe today!

Tallahassee Compared with Nation's Largest MSAs in New Economy Index

June 28, 2002

The Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis at Florida State University has completed a New Economy index for Tallahassee, showing how the Florida capital compares with 66 MSAs and, in a second analysis, a comparison of 20 Florida MSAs. Tallahassee ranks 11th among all MSAs assessed, a finding the authors suggest confirms "the city's economy has a number of very strong advantages."

The new index strives to build on the The Metropolitan New Economy Index, a study released by the Progressive Policy Institute in April 2001 that established a framework within which to rank the nation's 50 largest metropolitan areas.

In Comparison of Tallahassee and Other American and Florida MSAs Using the Metropolitan New Economy Index, the authors describe new characteristics of the New Economy using five major categories: knowledge jobs, globalization, economic dynamism and competition, the transformation to a digital economy, and technological innovation capacity. Within the categories are 16 indicators used for MSA rankings. Tallahassee's high overall placement, the authors contend, shows the city's economy "is quite robust by both conventional measures and by those that measure the area's fitness for the new Economy."

The index suggests Tallahassee business and government leaders should build on their economy's strengths and partner to accomplish the following:

  • Expand broadband high-speed Internet access to all business, educational and residential need;
  • Increase business community access to venture capital;
  • Foster greater regional creative innovation, business formation and trade efforts and job creation; and,
  • Convert science, engineering and research capabilities into commercially viable local ventures.

The index also suggests the Tallahassee index has broader implications. Forces such as new industries and jobs, globalization, competition and dynamism not only continue driving the New Economy but also are contributing to a "reordering of the economic geography of America." The share of employment located in the largest 61 MSAs, the index notes, declined by 1.5 percent between 1988-1997, from 55.1 percent to 54.3 percent. The share in smaller MSAs, however, increased by 7 percent.

Industrial and occupational characteristics of economic activity, as much as the location (or spatial) order, also have been transformed by the New Economy, according to the index. As a share of total jobs, manufacturing employment accounts for only 11 percent of total employment in the 50 MSAs. Office jobs account for more than 40 percent of total employment, and managerial, professional and technical jobs account for over 30 percent.

The Tallahassee New Economy Index includes many statistical tables for comparison and is available at: http://www.cefa.fsu.edu/projects.html