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Economic Report on Florida's 2013 Job Growth

For the third straight year, the January edition of the Florida TaxWatch Economic Commentary looks at the change in jobs over the past twelve months in Florida.

Building on the increases seen in the 2012 job numbers, Florida’s economy shows continued job growth, with an estimated 192,900 jobs created during 2013. All of the major private sector categories experienced job gains, with only Total Government Employment experiencing losses, led by a decrease in Federal Government jobs.

The 2013 jobs report shows substantial improvements from 2012, when in these same categories 135,400 jobs were created in Florida. This is more than 42 percent net job increase over the 2012 numbers.

Further, Florida’s unemployment rate, 6.2 percent, remains lower than the national rate, 6.7 percent. More significantly, Florida experienced the second largest yearly percentage increase in nonfarm employment in the nation (2.6 percent), trailing only oil-rich North Dakota (with a 4 percent increase). 1

Florida is also the state with the largest per-capita increase in jobs2 when compared to the three other most-populated states in the nation-California, Texas, and New York.

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1   Preliminary Seasonally Adjusted numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.nr0.htm
2   U.S. Census Bureau 2013 population estimates were used for this calculation.

» NEXT PAGE: 2013 job gains by sector, with charts

2013 JOB GAINS

The sector with the largest estimated job gains in Florida was Retail Trade, followed by the Professional and Business Services, and Construction categories. With an estimated 28,800 construction jobs created, Florida experienced the second largest gain in construction jobs in the nation, only 100 jobs less than the nation’s leader, California. Heavy and Civil Engineering construction experienced the highest growth (12.9 percent), followed by specialty trade contractors (8.7 percent).

This Florida TaxWatch report is also available in PDF format:
"Florida’s 2013 Job Growth"

These figures reflect the substantial investment that the public and private sectors are undertaking to improve Florida’s infrastructure and become more competitive.

The Retail Sector Posted the Highest Gains in 2013

The retail sector has improved substantially, moving from the third-highest creator of jobs in 2012 to the top position during 2013, which is reflected by increases in consumer confidence. Florida’s Consumer Sentiment Index, published by the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Florida, shows an increase of 3 percentage points between January 2013 (75) and January 2014 (78).

Building Materials, Garden Equipment and Supplies dealers experienced a 10 percent growth in jobs, and Food and Beverages retailers experienced an 8.9 percent growth. These two subcategories had the largest growth in the retail sector.

Last year’s second-highest producer of net new jobs, Professional and Business Services showed an increase of 37,400 jobs in 2013. In this category, Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services jobs showed a 4 percent increase. Management of Companies and Enterprises showed a 0.6 percent increase, and there was a 3.5 percent increase in Administrative and Support, Waste Management, and Remediation jobs.

Professional and Business Services
  Dec. 2013 Dec. 2013
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services 452,300 470,600 18,300
Management of Companies and Enterprises
84,800 85,300 500
Administrative and Support, Waste Management, Remediation 534,800 553,400 18,600


Tourism is Florida’s largest employer, as shown in the 2013 Florida TaxWatch Research Report Investing in Tourism. The Leisure and Hospitality industry, one of the components of this important sector, also continued to grow in 2013 increasing by 24,500 jobs. The Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation component grew 2.7 percent, and Accommodation and Food Services grew by 2.3 percent.

Leisure and Hospitality
  Dec. 2013 Dec. 2013
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation 198,000 203,400 5,400
Accommodation and Food Services 817,200 836,300 19,100


Adding 4,400 jobs, the Manufacturing industry grew from 318,000 to 322,400 jobs during 2013. This sector is expected to experience larger job growth in 2014 when the manufacturing machinery and equipment sales tax exemption becomes effective, starting April 2014.

» NEXT PAGE: 2013 job losses, and summary conclusion

2013 Job Losses

Total Government was the only main category that experienced job losses in the 2013 calendar year. The largest loss was in Federal Government. Although state government employment also dropped, local government employment actually increased by 1,900 jobs. This is a change from 2012, when all government sectors showed job losses.

Total Government
  Dec. 2013 Dec. 2013
Federal 132,600 130,100 (2,500)
State 207,200 206,100 (1,100)
Local 733,700 735,600 1,900


Conclusion

Florida’s economy continues to produce private sector jobs at a rate much higher than in 2011 and 2012. For the first time in three years, job gains were noted in all private sector categories.

Florida had a good year for job creation in 2013, creating the highest per capita job increases for any of the high-population states in the U.S. This, along with the continuing decrease in the state’s unemployment rate, shows that Florida’s economy has accelerated its job creation over the last two years and continues to improve.

Looking at potential job growth in 2014, Florida’s economy is expected to continue to produce jobs in sectors important in diversifying the economy and creating high-wage jobs. Florida’s key investments in infrastructure, led by improvement in our ports and connected parts of the logistics infrastructure will pay dividends. These investments, along with continued recruitment of companies to Florida as well as the expansion of Florida’s existing companies will continue to produce jobs that will provide good incomes for Florida families, and keep graduates of Florida colleges and universities in our state.


TAXWATCH CENTER FOR COMPETITIVE FLORIDA ADVISORY BOARD

Florida Tax Watch

BOARD CHAIRMAN
SENATOR GEORGE LEMIEUX
Chairman of the Board, Gunster

BOARD MEMBERS
MR. JOHN B. ZUMWALT III

President, thezumwaltcompany
Florida TaxWatch Chairman & Immediate Past Chair, CCF Advisory Board

This Florida TaxWatch report is also available in PDF format:
"Florida’s 2013 Job Growth"

WILLIAM E. CARLSON, JR
President, Tucker/Hall

MR. MARSHALL CRISER, III
President, AT&T Florida
Immediate Past Chairman, Florida TaxWatch

MR. DOUG DAVIDSON
Market Executive, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

MR. J. CHARLES GRAY
Chairman, GrayRobinson Law Firm

MR. JON FERRANDO
Executive VP & General Counsel, AutoNation, Inc.

GOVERNOR BOB MARTINEZ
Sr. Policy Advisor, Holland & Knight

MR. DAVE MCINTOSH
Trustee, BlueField Ranch Mitigation Bank Trust

MR. JAMES M. REPP
Senior VP, AvMed Health Plans

MS. MICHELLE A ROBINSON
President, SouthEast Region, Verizon

MR. DAVID A. SMITH
Former Chairman, Florida TaxWatch

MR. MICHAEL SOLE
VP for State Governmental Affairs, Florida Power & Light

TRACY WILLIS
Vice President, The Walt Disney Company


Economic Commentary written by
Jerry D. Parrish, Ph.D., Chief Economist, and Executive Director of the Center for Competitive Florida, with assistance from Jennifer Linares, MS, Research Analyst.

Robert Weissert, Chief Research Officer & General Counsel
Chris Barry, Director of Publications

John Zumwalt, III, Chair, Florida TaxWatch
Sen. George LeMieux Chair, Center for Competitive Florida
Dominic M. Calabro, President, CEO, Publisher, and Editor

Florida TaxWatch Research Institute, Inc.
www.floridataxwatch.org
Copyright © Florida TaxWatch, January 2014