July 23, 2014

2012 Economic Yearbook

Northwest Florida Economic Indicators

Charlotte Crane | 4/25/2012

Apalachicola/Franklin County

The recession put renewed emphasis on the oyster-centered economy of the late '80s and early '90s, a result of the downturn in the real estate market. "There's some concern about overharvesting," but overall the economy has seen bottom, says Alan Pierce, county planner and director of administrative services. "Definitely an uptick" in tourism, notes Anita Grove, executive director of Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce.

Franklin Population: 11,885
Population Growth Rate (2008-12): 0.86%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
14.96% 4.22% 27.41% 34.90% 18.50%
Per Capita Income: $32,598

Walton County

Walton County's tourism sector posted a 29.5% gain in 2011, a year featuring the opening of the Bayou Arts Center, a venue for exhibits and workshops, and improved public access to the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center that was aided by partnering with the South Walton Tourist Development Council. Housing demand has benefited from the arrival of the 7th Special Forces Group in neighboring Okaloosa County. Real estate development, however, could slow as St. Joe Co. plans to reduce spending at
WaterSound and WaterColor.

Holmes/ Washington Counties

Expansion of the Bonifay plant of the LKQ auto aftermarket company was good news for Holmes County; many residents, however, continue to commute to jobs outside the county. In Washington County, businesses are struggling and building permits are at an all-time low, reports Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ted Everett. While voters approved slot machines at Ebro Greyhound Park, the measure still must get state approval.

Holmes Population: 20,234
Population Growth Rate (2008-12): 0.12%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
17.44% 6.21% 24.36% 34.06% 17.93%
Per Capita Income: $30,116

Washington Population: 25,204
Population Growth Rate (2008-12): 0.50%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
17.41% 5.84% 25.58% 35.27% 15.89%
Per Capita Income: $25,544

Calhoun/Liberty/Jackson Counties

The slump in home building impacted construction-related timber industries in Calhoun and Liberty counties. At Big River Cypress & Hardwood in Blountstown, orders decreased and employment dropped from 50 pre-recession to the current 35, says manager Harry Rogers. Calhoun County's real estate industry, meanwhile, is showing some signs of improvement, says Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kristy Terry. Also a jobs concern: "Talk of area prisons closing haunts us," Terry says.
The city of Marianna in Jackson County is taking steps to ensure last-mile hookup for high-speed internet, says Opportunity Florida Executive Director Rick Marcum. Completion of the Florida Rural Broadband Alliance project, scheduled for mid-2013, will be a major economic boon.

Calhoun Population: 14,731
Population Growth Rate (2008-12): 0.66%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
18.44% 5.40% 25.85% 34.25% 16.05%
Per Capita Income: $25,004

Liberty Population: 8,828
Population Growth Rate (2008-12): 1.48%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
17.47% 5.80% 30.11% 35.15% 11.48%
Per Capita Income: $24,906

Jackson Population: 50,314
Population Growth Rate (2008-12): 0.02%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
16.33% 5.78% 26.34% 35.19% 16.36%
Per Capita Income: $29,925

Tags: Northwest

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