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The Thomas Howell Ferguson Blog

Florida Chamber Economic Outlook Summit Overview

THF recently sponsored the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Outlook Summit which was held in conjunction with the kick-off of the legislative session.  Below are some points from the meeting that may be of interest to you or our clients.

Mark Wilson, President & CEO, FL Chamber of Commerce

Mark’s comments focused on several points surrounding jobs, economic development, and the general state of Florida’s economy.  Below are a few points:

  • Since 2011, 72% of our counties have added jobs.
  • FL is the #1 state in the country for growth and opportunity.
  • By 2030, the population in FL will be 26 million.
  • The current population is 20.98 million.
  • Currently, there are 898 new residents in Florida every day.
  • Top counties where people are moving:
    • Miami-Dade
    • Orange
    • Hillsborough
    • Broward
    • Palm Beach
    • Lee
    • Duval
    • Osceola
  • By 2030, we will have 50 million more visitors in FL every year. Our infrastructure is a major issue with the added travelers.
  • This year, we are positioned to be a $1 trillion economy, which is bigger than Saudi Arabia.
  • Our kids will no longer compete with kids from other counties or states but from other countries.
  • It will take $100 million to win the next Governor’s race in FL.
  • Due to the large movement of people to the state, the majority of voters do not understand how much progress FL has made in the past 8-9 years.
  • Global risks: FL is very dependent on what happens in the rest of the world. When the rest of the world does well, FL is a great place for them to invest.
  • When international tourists come to FL, they stay longer and spend more.
  • A direct flight from China to FL would be a game changer.

Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist and Director of Research, FL Chamber Foundation

A few points from Dr. Parrish:

  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was 4.8%. In 2017, the unemployment rate was 3.6%.
  • There are currently 265,200 open jobs and 369,000 unemployed people. The largest issues with unemployment are that the skill sets do not match, or people can’t afford to live in the areas where the jobs are available.
  • Year-over-year job creation reports show the highest growth in the following industries:
  • Construction at 8.7%
  • Professional & Business Services at 3.1%
  • Trade, Transportation & Utilities at 1.9%
  • Financial Activities at 2.8%
  • Education & Health Services at 1.2%
  • Manufacturing at 3.9%
  • 1 out of every 4 kids in FL lives in poverty.
  • The largest recession risk we have right now is from overseas.
  • Prediction to create 180,000 jobs in FL in 2018.
  • Both FL and even the Northwest FL region are growing faster than the rest of the nation.
  • FL companies need to consider cross-training with workforce training programs in order to continue in the growth of jobs.

Notes From Additional Speakers

Additional speakers included state of Florida CFO, Jimmy Patronis and Visit Florida’s President & CEO, Ron Lawson:

  • Check out https://www.fltreasurehunt.org/ to look for unclaimed property.
  • Visitors to FL support 1.4 million jobs in the state.
  • Tourism has a $112 billion direct economic impact on the state.
  • Every 78 visitors = 1 job.
  • Current unemployment rate of 3.6% is down from the recessionary high rate of 11.2% reported in 2009-2010.
  • If you take away state & local taxes generated by tourism, taxes per household would increase by $1,535.
  • Visit Florida will be working on a “Bleisure” campaign—a mix of business and leisure. If 10% of business travelers stayed 1 extra night, it would generate $270 million more annually.
  • Over 89% of private employers in FL had fewer than 20 employees in Q1 in 2017.
  • Fastest growing industries in FL include: Ambulatory Health Care Services; Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services; and Specialty Trade Contractors.
  • Fasting growing occupations in the above industries: Nurse Practitioners, Physical Therapist Assistants, Web Developers, Brickmasons and Blockmasons, and Computer Systems Analysts.
  • Soft skills are reported as necessary skills that are highly over-looked.

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