Economic Yearbook 2006 - Southeast Florida
Still Packing Them In
Florida's most populous region continues to lead the state in new residents as well.
For Mike and Amy McGowan, Southeast Florida offered what their native Wisconsin did not: A hot job market and a multicultural mix. "We wanted our children to grow up in a diverse environment," says Mike, a systems consultant with Plantation-based shipping giant DHL. Not all ties are broken: Amy works full time from home in Miami as a project manager for a Green Bay, Wis., furniture retailer.
Southeast Florida continues to lead the state in population growth, adding 175,000 since 2004. Broward and Palm Beach counties remain attractive to middle-income professionals following corporate relocations and expansions, especially in the biotech, telecom and business services sectors. Miami-Dade's growth is driven in part by the surging trade sector but also by the steady arrival of Latin and Caribbean immigrants -- both documented and undocumented.
Wages in the Southeast U.S. tend to be lower than the national average, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This, combined with skyrocketing housing costs, could slow in-migration of professionals. Across the region, housing prices have shot up more than 25% in the last year. Foreign immigration may also slow as Congress tightens border security, placing pressure on industries like healthcare, construction and agriculture, which rely on low-wage, unskilled labor.
? Toronto-based Farelogix, a software development and solutions provider for the travel and leisure industries, has relocated its corporate offices to Miami, creating up to 50 jobs with an average salary of approximately $80,000.
? Seattle-based NeoRx Corp. is the first company to formally enter a research alliance with Palm Beach County's Scripps Florida. NeoRx and Scripps will collaborate on the development of cancer-fighting chemical compounds.
? Insurance giant AIG's Latin America group has moved its headquarters from New York to Miami, creating about 60 jobs.
? Swedish furniture retailer IKEA has landed in Florida with a 293,000-sq.-ft. store in Sunrise scheduled to open in summer 2007. It will employ about 350.
? Aetna has opened a regional headquarters for its pharmacy mail-service subsidiary, Aetna Rx Home Delivery, in Pompano Beach, creating 800 jobs within three years.