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Workforce in Sarasota County

Job Growth

The county has roughly 4,500 more workers this year than it did a year earlier. Fiscal 2017 statistics show growth driven by the construction, health care/education and leisure/ hospitality sectors.

The Face of Labor

When Christine Eckles’ children left the nest in Sharon, Pa., she and her husband did, too, at least during the winter. A registered nurse, Eckles became a traveling nurse and worked on both coasts of Florida for a couple of winters before she and her husband decided to make a permanent move. They chose Sarasota County.

“We fell in love with the area. We are definitely beach people, and we like having a city close, but also being in a small community,” Eckles says. “My first assignment was in Delray Beach, and it felt like a big city. Everything was rushed. We came over here to Doctors Hospital, and I just loved it.”

Eckles, 46, got a permanent nursing job at Doctors Hospital in Sarasota. She and her husband rent in nearby Bradenton, while they search for an affordable home near her job.

The annual mean average salary for registered nurses in the Sarasota- Manatee County MSA is $65,160.

“The wages down here are better,” Eckles says. “I make significantly more, but the houses are crazy expensive. Up there for $300,000 you can get a nice five-bedroom, twobath house. Here you might be able to get a small two-one for that.”

Annual Job Gains (private employers, fiscal 2017)
Sector % Job Gains New Jobs
Construction 4.0% 500
Education/Health Services 3.7% 1,170
Leisure/Hospitality 3.5% 813
Manufacturing 1.2% 102
Professional/Business Services 0.7% 191
Financial -0.3% -26
Total 1.9% 2,906
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages Program