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Tampa Bay’s boomin’ industries

Learn about Tampa’s most prominent industries and employers with this guide to local businesses.


Tampa Skyline

Tampa’s skyline (seen here from the Riverwalk) continues to evolve as the city grows.

Photo by @growgavan

Table of Contents

Around 200,000 people (and thousands of businesses) contribute to the Tampa metro area’s $200 billion economy. But have you ever wondered about Cigar City’s heaviest hitters?

Consider this Tampa Bay Business 101 — your guide to our region’s 5 key industries and 5 major employers.

Note: When we say Tampa metro area, that refers to just Tampa, not St. Pete.

The key industries

There are five key industries that represent Tampa’s economy, based on data from Tampa’s Economic Development Council. The order is not based on employment numbers.

Defense and Security

MacDill Air Force Marshal

MacDill Air Force Base air traffic marshall directs a plane along the runway.

Photo by MacDill Air Force Base

Tampa Bay is a defense hub, offering tons of access to chief military assets and a military-friendly business community. MacDill Air Force Base, the largest employer in Hillsborough County, calls Tampa home. It adds more than 15,000 highly-trained military and civilian personnel to the talent pipeline.

Information Technology

Tech in Tampa has been on the up for at least a decade, adding over 10,000 jobs from 2015 to 2020, The city leads the state in high-wage STEM careers and has quickly become an international epicenter for IT companies.

Financial and Professional Services

Did you know Tampa is widely considered the Wall Street of the South? Nearly one in four business and information services firms in Florida are right here. We’re proud to house like JPMorgan Chase, USAA, MetLife, and Citi too.

Life Sciences and Healthcare

Life sciences and healthcare employment typically fare better than the whole US job market, seeing a growth of 15% in the past five years compared to the national average of 12%.

Manufacturing, Distribution and logistics

The strength of the twelfth largest port in the country, Port Tampa Bay, and the Tampa International Airport help the city sit comfortably as a national leader in supply chain management.

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