Since the start of the Recession in 2008, Florida has made national headlines. The real estate market in The Sunshine State was hit harder than almost any other, and it seemed that week after week, Florida was showcased on the national nightly news as a shining example of economic failure.
What Floridians know today, but what most of the country may not know, is that the state is now a shining example of economic growth, and many other states are looking to Florida to see what it’s been doing right. With one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, the state’s economy is thriving, and the shadows of 2008 are a distant memory for those who live and work in Florida.
The Story on Florida’s Economic Recovery
The current upswing can be credited to savvy business owners who saw the recession as an opportunity rather than a death knell. Both large corporations and small start-ups took advantage of the downturn, using stimulus packages and capitalizing on the low cost of construction and real estate to build a solid foundation for recovery.
Florida’s unemployment rate, which climbed as high as 11.4 percent in 2010, well above the national peak of 10 percent, dropped to 6.2 percent in the first quarter of 2014 – below the national rate of 6.3 percent. At the close of 2014, data from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity indicated that the unemployment rate had dropped to 5.8 percent, which puts Florida even with the national average of 5.8 percent. Contrast those numbers with neighboring Alabama, which posted an unemployment rate of 6 percent and Georgia, which posted 7.2 percent for the same time period, and you get an idea of just how well Florida is doing.
Who Saw the Highest Growth in Florida?
There were some sectors that have been growing faster than others. Tourism, of course, remains strong, but other industries that posted growth year over year in Florida in 2014 include:
- Professional and business services (+41,300 jobs, +3.6 percent)
- Leisure and hospitality (+40,200 jobs, +3.8 percent)
- Construction (+34,900 jobs, +9.1 percent)
- Private education and health services (+20,800 jobs, +1.8 percent)
- Financial activities (+12,600 jobs, +2.4 percent)
- Manufacturing (+6,800 jobs, +2.1 percent)
- Government (+3,000 jobs, +0.3 percent)
- Information Technology (+1,200 jobs, +0.9 percent)
Of Florida’s 22 metro regions, 21 posted year-over-year job gains at the end of 2013. Those with the largest job growth were:
- Orlando ‐ Kissimmee ‐ Sanford (+46,300 jobs, +4.3 percent)
- Miami ‐ Miami Beach ‐ Kendall (+39,500 jobs, +3.7 percent)
- Lauderdale ‐ Pompano Beach ‐ Deerfield Beach (+28,400 jobs, +3.7 percent)
Staffing the Recovery
If your South Florida business will be experiencing growth in 2015, CERS can help connect you with the right technical employees to help you make the most of the economic upswing. As a leader in technology staffing in Florida, we have cultivated a strong network of talent, and we can connect you with professionals who have the skills, qualifications, and traits you are looking for. For information on finding or filling IT positions in South Florida, contact CERS today!