Many states compete to attract new business, but few are able to match the scale and scope of Florida’s industry assets. Even in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, Florida’s economy flourished thanks, in large part, to the robust assets this state has come to be known for: competitive costs, a top-ranked workforce and ready proximity to domestic and global markets. So while many states lost businesses in 2020-21, Florida was busy attracting new ones across nine key industry sectors.
No. 2 Manufacturing job growth since 2016
20K+ Manufacturing companies
380K Manufacturing industry employees
Florida’s manufacturers produce a wide variety of goods, including aerospace products and parts, boats, batteries, communication equipment, food and beverages, plastics, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors and textiles. This vital sector continued to operate throughout the pandemic and, at a moment’s notice, often pivoted to produce products and component parts necessary to overcome shortages in our national stockpiles and critical supplies we’ve come to rely on other countries to produce for us.
Defense & Homeland Security
No. 2 Space and defense systems manufacturing
No. 2 Aerospace products and parts manufacturing
No. 3 Largest veteran population in the U.S.
Florida is home to one of the nation’s largest defense and homeland security industries. Boasting 21 major military installations, three unified combatant commands and two component commands and 23,000+ defense-related companies, it should come as no surprise to learn Florida is consistently among the top 5 states in the nation to receive DOD contract awards on a consistent basis.
Logistics & Distribution
No. 1 Air cargo with Latin America and the Caribbean
No. 2 Largest Foreign Trade Zone network in the U.S.
No. 3 Largest cluster of transportation and warehouse establishments in the U.S.
As a leading international trade center and home to an extensive multimodal transportation system, Florida excels at moving people, products and services anywhere FAST! Most key global shipping lines and airline alliances (including specialized cargo operators), 3PLs and VALs have a presence in Florida. And never was that more apparent and needed than at the height of the pandemic. When West Coast ports became so inundated with cargo they could barely keep up with the flow, let alone try to ship it properly, Florida’s ports stepped in to help, sharing cranes, berths, trucks and plain old muscle power to keep things moving at a steady pace.
No. 2 Largest pharmaceuticals and medicine manufacturing industry
No. 2 Medical device manufacturing industry
No. 3 Total medical technology employment
Florida’s biotechnology, pharmaceutical manufacturing and medical device manufacturing industries make cutting-edge breakthroughs in medical treatment, pharmaceutical development and biotech research possible every day. Thanks to some 700+ hospitals, the presence of such industry leaders as Actavis, Arthrex, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic, and a university system committed to pursuing life sciences R&D, lives are saved daily and some 32,000 jobs are supported.
Aviation & Aerospace
No. 2 Aviation & aerospace establishments, including 3 Space Ports
No. 5 Best undergrad aerospace engineering program, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
Worldwide leader in active launch licenses held by private industry (8 of 17)
Home to Kennedy Space Center, Cecil Spaceport and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida remains the undisputed air traffic hub of the Americas, a major center for maintenance, repair and operations, and home to more than 2,300 aircraft and aviation/aerospace establishments. Following its 50th anniversary celebration of the lunar landing in 1969, NASA has taken its first step toward returning astronauts to space in 2024, landing its unmanned Artemis I rocket on the dark side of the moon with the eventual goal of carrying astronauts to Mars.
No. 1 Best tax climate in the Southeast
No. 3 Largest civilian labor force
No. 4 Best tax climate nationwide
Corporate headquarters are easily drawn to Florida for its highly favorable business climate, which includes a low corporate tax burden, no personal income tax and modern infrastructure. More than 300 international companies have established a presence here.
Financial & Professional Services
No. 3 Largest insurance industry in the U.S.
No. 4 Largest financial services industry in the U.S.
93 Commercial banks with $208 bil. in assets under management
A diversified economic structure has fueled Florida’s ability to become a true global player in providing high value-added services in finance, insurance, engineering, accounting and consulting. Ready proximity to and cultural connections with Latin America have further enhanced Florida’s reputation as an international banking center and leading location for shared services.
No. 2 Solar jobs
No. 3 Cumulative solar capacity
No. 4 Solar industry growth
Floridians recognize the undeniable link between sustainability and the economy and as a result, this state is hard at work finding ways to build a leading clean energy hub by harnessing two of this state’s greatest natural assets — sunshine all across the peninsula and Gulf Stream currents along its 1,350-mile coastline.
No. 1 New tech business establishments in 2021
No. 2 Net tech employment job gains
No. 3 Growth in employer job postings for tech openings
Since birthing the IBM PC in Boca Raton four decades ago, Florida has remained at the forefront of IT innovation. With more than 33,000 high-tech companies in residence, Florida’s strengths are wide ranging — from computer systems design, photonics and mobile technologies to modeling, simulation and training.