In December 2013, Florida had its largest monthly job gains for the year, adding 25,200 jobs in the month, according to ADP reports. The state ranked second only to Texas, which gained 29,100 jobs. Growth was concentrated in service-sector jobs, which accounted for 21,480 of the new jobs. This is especially relevant in Central Florida, where service jobs tied to tourism dominate the economy. The area has over 221,000 leisure and hospitality jobs, accounting for 20 percent of the total workforce.
A report on small business employment by Intuit attributes job growth to Florida’s entrepreneurial focus. Small business employment grew by two-tenths of a percent in December (Washington had the largest increase at 0.3 percent).
From November 2012 to November 2013, the largest year-over-year percentage gain in employment occurred in Sebastian-Vero Beach, Florida (+8.1 percent), followed by Naples-Marco Island, Florida (+7.9 percent), and Port St. Lucie, Florida (+6.1 percent). Overall, the largest year-over-year percentage decreases in employment in Florida occurred in Panama City-Lynn Haven-Panama City Beach, Florida at -2.3 percent, which is the third highest in the nation.
Year-Over-Year Percent Change in Non-Farm Employment in Selected Metropolitan Areas
2014 is Sunny for Florida
According to Pew Charitable Trust’s annual State of the State report, Florida’s employment prospects in 2014 are expected to be bright. Moody’s Analytics predicts that the state will add 176,000 new jobs this year. A surge in construction and increased tourism are responsible for this optimism. A survey shows that Deltona and Cape Coral will be the most promising Florida cities for job growth, and hot jobs will include cement masons, construction project managers, and carpenters.
Sean Snaith, director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Competitiveness, expects that the state will add 600,000 jobs in 2014, with many jobs stemming from companies relocating their headquarters to Florida, including Hertz, and recently merged companies Office Depot and Office Max.