The economy plays a significant role in the quality of life in a community. Our community’s wages, employment rate and affordable housing all impact the way we live and the future of our community. Poverty, cost of housing, unemployment and low wage are all areas we need to improve.

People employed in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties make an average of $8,000 less than the typical American worker.

32 percent of the local workforce earns $32,000 a year or less.

The number of jobs in manufacturing fell by 56 percent in Pensacola over the 1969-2014 period, while it fell by 36 percent nationwide.

The number of jobs in federal civilian and military employment fell by 23 percent in Pensacola over that period, while it fell by 20 percent nationally.

Because jobs in other sectors of the economy generally have grown over time, manufacturing and federal job performance look even weaker when measured as a share of the overall economy.

By 2014, those shares had declined to 11.5 percent of employment and 25.5 percent of total wages.

Today, the number of unemployed in the Escambia-Santa Rosa area has plummeted to 9,576, with the jobless rate in Escambia at 5.3 percent, and 4.4 percent in Santa Rosa.

In order for Pensacola to reach “full employment” our unemployment rate needs to be in the 3 percent or below range.

Low wages and shortage of available housing for rent or sale impacts that available affordable housing. Wages need to be raised.


Nearly a third of Florida businesses are young

In Florida, data show that 37 percent of businesses are five years old or younger, according to the Census Bureau's Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs. Read full story


How to build a vibrant community

A vibrant community has a special mix of retail, residential and revenue according to research from Gallup. Quint Studer talks about where Pensacola is on this continuum in a show called "Building a Vibrant Community." Read full story


Redevelopment needed to fight urban sprawl

When it comes to urban sprawl, the Pensacola area has been hampered by new housing being located farther away from the employment centers of the community, says UWF's Phyllis Pooley in her latest column. Read full story


Florida’s Great Northwest, UWF partner on economic strategy

Region awarded grant to fund the development of an economic diversification strategy

The Haas Center will lead the analysis behind the Florida’s Great Northwest, UWF partner on analyzing region's economic strengths and weaknesses. Read full story


Celebrate Pensacola Network’s third anniversary

On July 22, the Pensacola Network celebrates three years of bringing people together to share expertise, experience and build relationships. Read full story


“Concentrated” poverty less in Escambia than nation, study shows

Haas Center director Zach Jenkins says while the growth of concentrated poverty has been slower locally than the national average, its presence has adverse effects on not just the poor, but even those above the poverty line throughout the community. Read full story


SBDC hosts business plan competition for veterans

Three veterans saw their business plans rise to the top in a competition hosted by the Small Business Development Center at the University of West Florida. Read full story

Shannon's Window

The housing trilemma for Pensacola

If one researcher's point that balancing housing affordability, economic strength and quality of life are the key to a community's growth, our three-legged stool needs some work. Read full story


Does another housing bubble loom in Northwest Florida?

Now, just 10 years removed from the height of the housing bubble, there are whispers that another bubble is forming. What does the data say? UWF's Phyllis Pooley explains. Read full story


Local, state jobless rates continue decline

State figures released Friday show the local jobless rate continues to decline — Escambia County has 4.5 percent unemployment in May; Santa Rosa's rate is 4 percent. Read full story


Why your brain hates the 8-hour workday

A report on shows that worker productivity is boosted by breaks — rather than being chained to a desk for eight straight hours or more. Read full story

EntreCon 2016

The World of Beer story on EntreCon show

World of Beer founder Scott Zepp shares in the most recent episode of “EntreCon: Helping Small Businesses Grow,” airing now on BLAB-TV. Read full story