2009 Economic Yearbook: Bad Case of the Blues
Gloomy prospects for the rest of 2009 -- but still some hiring. Here's a economic roundup for each of Florida's 11 regions.
The economic picture is not entirely without bright spots: Despite all the layoffs and downsizing, some companies in Florida are still hiring. On the following pages, we spotlight some of those companies in each region. It’s also worth noting that while the stock market overall has lost about a quarter of its value year to date through March 6, the stocks of Florida-based companies tracked by PCE investment bankers in Winter Park were down only 5.5%. For the one-year period ended March 6, the Florida stocks were down 19.7%, but that’s a far cry from the almost 50% drop in the Dow and S&P 500 over the same one-year period. The PCE Florida index consists of public companies headquartered Florida with revenue greater than $500,000 and a market value between $1 million and $250 million.
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In general, however, the economic prospects for the rest of 2009 remain gloomy. The state’s unemployment rate stands at nearly 9%. And as the state disposes of somewhere around $14 billion in federal stimulus money, it appears the cash will go mostly to keep heads above water rather than generate jobs and new economic activity. Most of the funds will go for increased unemployment benefits, Medicaid costs and school funding, with only about $1.4 billion — 10% of the total — going for road building and transportation projects.
More predictions come from the state Economic Estimating Conference:
- Florida’s income growth will only reach 2.2% in fiscal 2009-10 and is not anticipated to return to more normal levels until 2011-12.
- Per capita income is expected to decline 1.1% this year.
- Beginning in fiscal 2010-11, growth will shift from health services to the professional and business services. This employment sector is expected to add more than 28% of the new jobs forecast for 2010-11.
- As the availability of financing for commercial real estate tightens, growth in private non-residential construction is projected to fall 23.2% this year from growth of 14.1% in fiscal year 2007-08 and stay in negative territory for another year. Meanwhile, after posting a 19.7% gain last year, public construction activity is projected to drop 14.9% this year and then grow 1.7% next year and 4.5% in the following year.
- The number of tourists is expected to decline 1.2% compared to the 2008 count. While the level for 2009-10 turns positive, it does so weakly. Growth rates for 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 are 0.6%, 1.0% and 1.8%, respectively.
- Population growth is expected to reach only 1.57% in 2011-12. Florida is on track to break the 20-million mark in 2014. Sometime before then Florida will become the third most populous state — surpassing New York.
Next page: Charts with Florida's population, population growth rate, median age and per capita income.