Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.
Florida had mixed results in some economic areas last year, but it continues to lead most states in the post-pandemic rebound.
Florida Chamber Foundation Director of Research Dave Sobush outlined the opportunities and headwinds facing the state during the organization’s 2023 Economic Outlook & Jobs Summit, noting that the Sunshine State “remains extraordinarily well positioned to build on 2022’s strong economic performance.”
Sobush said job growth was one of the strong points. Florida added more than 428,000 jobs in 2022, which equates to a growth rate of about 4.7% and a higher rate than any state not named Texas. By comparison, the national job growth rate was 3.3%.
“What is most telling about Florida’s economic prowess is that the past 12 months was the fact that many of the states to trail Florida — Hawaii, Oregon, Massachusetts and California — are in relatively earlier stages of their post-pandemic experiences and typically would see stronger percentage growth rates,” Sobush said.
About a quarter of the job gains were in the leisure and hospitality industry, which posted an 8.1% gain and has now recovered to pre-pandemic employment levels. The state also made substantial gains in manufacturing.
“Manufacturing grew by more than 26,000 jobs, roughly 7% of all jobs created in the past year. But the sector’s strong growth rate of 6.7% bodes well as Florida seeks to move from 10th place to be a top-5 state for manufacturing jobs by 2030. In fact, the sector’s annual growth was second only to the aforementioned leisure and hospitality sector,” Sobush said.
While Sobush said the statewide economic rebound has been “stunning,” the numbers show that the bulk of the growth is taking place in large counties.
“Florida businesses are creating jobs rapidly but also in a concentrated distribution,” he said. “Of the total jobs created in the past year, 71% of these were located in just 18 of Florida’s 67 counties. In fact, nearly 30% of Florida job creation occurred in just the three South Florida counties of Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach.”
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Quote of the Day
“When we say don’t tread on Florida or let us alone, we mean that, including on your gas stoves. You’re not taking our gas stoves away from us.”
—Gov. Ron DeSantis, on a potential gas stove ban.
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Last Call is published by Peter Schorsch, assembled and edited by Phil Ammann and Drew Wilson with contributions from the staff of Florida Politics.
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