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- 2012 - July - 30th -

City a hotspot for food, money

by Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

Jacksonville ranks high nationwide for its concentration in the financial services and eating-drinking industries, according to an economic development research and site consulting firm.

AngelouEconomics, based in Austin, Texas, analyzed 36 industry groups and released its analysis last week of the third list of six 2012 “Industry Hotspots.”

Compared with its peers, Jacksonville ranked No. 3 in financial services and No. 10 in “eat/drink.”

Jacksonville was measured against its population peers in the middle third of the 100 largest metro areas.

The strong presence of a specialization indicates that an area is strongly invested in the industry and can develop within it, according to Angelou.

The “eat/drink” category is defined as “places serving food with either full or limited service, food services and drinking places such as bars.”

The “financial services” category is defined as “all activities pertaining to insurance, real estate transactions and banks, including credit and investment activities.”

“Industries tend to form clusters that allow them to share ideas, talent, suppliers, infrastructure and investment in ways that deliver shared benefit among industry participants,” said the Angelou report.

“In turn, these clusters tend to define the communities in which they are located,” it said.

The first two reports covering 12 “Hotspots” ranked Jacksonville in the four specializations of aerospace and defense, business support services, apparel and textile manufacturing and communication services.

In last week’s report, Jacksonville did not rank in the top 10 in the industries of electronics manufacturing; elementary and secondary schools; food processing; and general services.

The top 10 middle-third metro areas in the six industries measured ranged in population from Grand Rapids, Mich., and McAllen, Texas, both at almost 775,000 people, and Austin, Texas, at 1.7 million people.

Jacksonville’s metro area population was listed at 1.35 million.

Angelou said that as part of a multimonth study, it “completed a sweeping analysis of America’s 100 largest metropolitan areas.”

The focus was to calculate and compare the concentration of industry groups within those areas.

“This allows one to better understand where and why certain industries locate where they do and the implication that this may have for the communities in which they have the strongest presence,” it said.

AngelouEconomics said the top 100 metro areas account for about 73 percent of total U.S. gross domestic product and more than $9.5 trillion of annual economic output.

The firm said the 36 industry cluster groups were analyzed and communities were ranked based on their “location quotient” in each industry group.

“Location quotients” are a measure of industry concentration within a particular area relative to the concentration of that industry in the nation as a whole, it said.

The reports are being issued monthly.

The third set of six industries show where the concentrations are highest nationwide among Jacksonville’s peers:

• Eat/drink — New Orleans, La., population 1.17 million.

• Electronics manufacturing — Milwaukee, Wis., population 1.56 million.

• Elementary and secondary schools — McAllen, Texas, population 774,769.

• Financial services — Hartford, Conn., population 1.2 million.

• Food processing — Fresno, Calif., population 930,450.

• General services — Richmond, Va., 1.26 million.

kmathis@baileypub.com

@MathisKb

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