Updated 12 months ago
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» After losing population last year, Florida is growing again, picking up an estimated 23,000 new residents.
» The CB Richard Ellis 2010 Florida Market Perspective sees a slow, steady recovery taking hold, forecasting improvement in job growth, capital liquidity and sales and leasing activity levels.
» In its Florida & Metro Forecast report, the Institute for Economic Competitiveness at UCF predicts that 2010 will end with “a slowly expanding economy, tepid job growth, and the start of an extended period of slowly declining unemployment rates.” Real Gross State Product, the report says, will increase this year through 2013 at an average rate of 1.8%, with growth really starting to accelerate just over a year from now.
All this isn’t to say that happy days are here again. The state’s jobless rate is still in double digits. January 2010 foreclosures were 15% higher than a year earlier. And commercial real estate will remain a drag on Florida’s economy throughout the year.
But this April there’s plenty of sunshine peaking through the clouds — a big change from the economic gloom that blanketed Florida Trend’s annual Economic Yearbook one year ago.
The McGowans 4 years later
Four Aprils ago, Mike and Amy McGowan and their two children, Sophia and Gavin (then 6 months and 2½ years), were featured on the cover of our Economic Yearbook issue — emblems of the giddyup growth that saw Florida gaining more than 1,000 new residents a day. The couple moved to south Florida from Wisconsin at the height of the growth spurt, lured by south Florida’s cultural diversity and a vibrant job market. Mike took a job as a systems consultant with Plantation-based shipping giant DHL. Amy worked from home as a project manager for a Wisconsin furniture retailer.
Today, Mike and Amy have a third child. And while DHL cut more than 100 jobs at its Plantation headquarters and restructured its express mail business, Mike’s still employed as an IT project manager. Amy, meanwhile, tends to the household and helps at the cooperative preschool that Sophia attends. The McGowans sold the house they were living in four years ago and are renting while they look for a bigger home.