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Robert Trigaux

Moody's forecast: Florida job growth to top other states in coming year



NowHiringsign.jpgWake up and good morning. Good news on the jobs front for a very employment-challenged (11.9 percent jobless rate) Florida. Economics consulting firm Moody's recently issued a forecast for job growth both by state and metro area. And Florida is looking a lot stronger ahead than most parts of the country.

Just a brief word of caution. Any job growth shown by "percentage" will look better when you're starting so low in the jobless hole. But let's take what we can get. Moody's did not have to assign strong numbers to Florida job growth at all -- and other parts of the country look far more anemic ahead -- so let's go with the flow and see what the Moody's forecast says.

Just so we know what time frame we're talking about, Moody's's forecasted job growth for the year ahead, from the third quarter of 2010 to the third quarter of 2011.

Florida jobs are expected to grow 3 percent in the coming year compared with 1.1 percent for the nation. That may not sound like a tsunami of hiring but Florida's job growth is expected to be faster than any other state in the entire country in the coming year. Here's how Moody's breaks down that job growth in Florida over the next 12 months or so.

* Construction: Up 26.7 percent (given the slaughter of construction jobs in recent years, that's a hopeful turnaround).

* Educational and health services: Up 3.1 percent (still good since this is the one sector that's managed to keep adding jobs during the Florida recession).

* Financial activities: Up 0.2 percent (still positive).

* Government: Down 0.8 percent (a loss and I'm guessing this may become a bigger loss as Gov. Rick Scott arrives in Tallahassee and starts shrinking government.)

* Information: Down 0.3 percent (off slightly).

* Leisure and hospitality: Up 3.4 percent. (Bring on those tourists!)

* Manufacturing: Down 0.1 percent (Not much change. It's never been Florida's forte so good to see it's not slipping further).

* Natural resources and mining: Up 4.6 percent (think phosphate and trees).

* Professional and business services: Up 3.5 percent.

* Retail: Up 0.9 percent (I guess Floridians are starting to buy more stuff).

* Transportation and warehousing: Up 2.8 percent.

* Utilities: 0 percent (flat).

* Wholesale trade: Up 2.2 percent.

And what can we expect from the different areas within Florida? Here's a key finding. Tampa Bay jobs will increase 3.4 percent in the coming year, the forecast says, led by a nearly 45 percent jump in construction jobs. That 3.4 percent growth is faster than the state as a whole. And it's ahead of such other Florida metro areas in job growth as Fort Lauderdale (up 2.6 percent), Jacksonville (up 2.9 percent) and Miami (up 1.7 percent). And it's on par with Orlando (up 3,4 percent).

We've got a long, long way to go. But these are very promising numbers, especially when compared to the rest of the nation. Read more here.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist 

[Last modified: Wednesday, November 10, 2010 7:09am]


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