3 Cities to Watch
Source: U. S. Department of Labor
Neil Pierson is editor of Scotsman Guide Commercial Edition.
Reach him at (800) 297-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Florida’s unemployment rate of 3. 7 percent this past December was the
fourth straight month the state had a figure below 4 percent. And the
state’s minimum wage increased from $8.10 to $8.25 per hour as of this
past January. Wages in the state’s major metro areas, however, are relatively low, labor statistics show. The following major Florida cities all had average weekly wages below the national average of $1,111 as of first-quarter
2017: Jacksonville ($988), Miami ($1,036), Orlando ($896) and Tampa ($967).
According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the state’s
total employment stood at 8. 71 million as of December 2017. The gain of
213,500 jobs year over year as of this past December was the 89th consec-
utive month that the state posted positive annual job growth.
Florida’s construction industry is booming, providing 524,000 jobs as of
this past November, a year-over-year increase of 42,000 jobs, or 8. 7 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Commercial construction
starts in South Florida jumped 55 percent year over year as of this past
November, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Commercial projects
in the region were valued at $5.4 billion for the first 11 months of 2017,
a 32 percent increase over the prior year.
Some of the largest metro areas, such as Miami, Orlando and Tampa, are
recording population growth that is helping to expand multifamily-housing
demand. South Florida had about 17,000 apartment units under construction as of this past November, Cushman & Wakefield said. The supply
of skilled laborers, such as electricians, plumbers, carpenters and pipe
fitters, was not keeping up with demand, according to a survey from the
Associated Builders and Contractors of Florida. That could negatively
impact the ability to finish some commercial construction projects.
Known as “Waterfront Wonderland” with more than 400 miles of
navigable waterways, Cape Coral and neighboring Fort Myers have a
metro-area population of more than 725,000. Cape Coral ranked second among U.S. cities for job growth in 2017, Forbes said. The median
household income is $64,800 and the median home price is $235,000.
Lee Memorial Health System, Florida Gulf Coast University and Gartner
are some of the major employers in the metro area.
Higher education, health care and tourism are just some of the
industries fueling this Central Florida business hub. Universal Orlando
Resort employs 21,000 people alone. Other major employers include
Adventist Health System, SunTrust Bank and Southwest Airlines.
The University of Central Florida’s Business Incubation Program and
the Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship are lauded for their roles
in making the city a hot spot for companies with fewer than 100
employees. A new performing arts center and Major League Soccer
stadium also are aiding tourism efforts.
Located 15 miles northwest of downtown Miami, this city of 58,000 was
ranked as the nation’s 11th fastest-growing city of at least 50,000 residents, according to a study from Florida International University. Several
large residential mixed-use medical, hotel and office projects are due to
be completed by the end of 2019. Doral boasts major employers such as
Air Express International, Carnival Cruise Line and Gold Coast Beverage
Distributors, and it also has one of the largest privately owned and
operated general-purpose foreign trade zones in North America.
Sources: CBRE, City of Doral, Colliers International, Cushman & Wakefield, Dodge Data
& Analytics, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Florida Department of
State, Forbes, Lee County Economic Development, Miami Herald, Orlando Economic
Partnership, Oxford Economics, Sun Sentinel, Tallahassee-Leon County Planning
Department, Tampa Bay Times, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor.