Monday, December 11, 2017
Business

Florida's economic growth in 2013 better than most of the country

Florida's economy grew faster than the national average last year, the first time that has happened since the onset of the Great Recession.

Florida's economic output — the state equivalent of the gross domestic product — grew by 2.2 percent to top $800 billion in current dollars, according to government figures released Wednesday.

That compares to economic growth nationwide of 1.9 percent in 2013, based on estimates from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which is housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce.

A year earlier, it was a different story. Florida's economic growth was an identical 2.2 percent in 2012. But at the time, most of the country was growing at a faster clip, about 2.5 percent on average.

Florida hasn't outperformed the United States as a whole since 2006, when its construction boom fueled a 3.6 percent economic surge, topping the national growth rate of 2.7 percent.

Since then, it has been a long slog.

The state's economy plummeted by 6 percent in 2009, followed by a couple of years of sub-1 percent growth.

Economist say growing by 2.2 percent annually would be acceptable and even encouraging if Florida was at full employment.

"But the issue is we're not at full employment," said Scott Brown, chief economist with Raymond James Financial in St. Petersburg. "We still have a ton of people that need to get back to work."

Florida's unemployment rate as of April stood at 6.2 percent, with nearly 600,000 looking for work.

The problem is not short-term unemployment, which has settled down to a more normal range. The problem is with long-term unemployed, many of whom have been jobless for years, along with a glut of part-time workers who are unable to find full-time jobs.

"We're seeing some evidence that firms are starting to increase hiring," Brown said. "Anecdotally, we're hearing stories from some small firms that they're being forced to go out and hire to keep up with demand.

"So it's starting to change, but we have a long way to go."

Florida's economic improvement last year ranked 18th among all states, trumping neighboring states Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. Florida did better than New York and California but trailed far behind archrival Texas, which grew by 3.7 percent.

North Dakota, the epicenter of the natural gas renaissance, enjoyed 9.7 percent economic growth, making it the top-performing state, by far. Alaska's economy shrank by 2.5 percent, the only state that contracted in 2013.

Industries that contributed the most to Florida's economic growth included professional and business services (which include temporary staffing agencies); education and health care; arts/entertainment/recreation; finance/insurance/real estate; wholesale and retail trade; and construction.

Comments
HSBC says U.S. will dismiss criminal charges against it

HSBC says U.S. will dismiss criminal charges against it

HSBC said Monday that U.S. authorities were preparing to dismiss criminal charges against the bank, five years after it reached an agreement to avoid prosecution related to lapses in its money-laundering controls.In 2012, the bank, one of the world’s...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Major auto manufacturer offers longer hours, incentives to fix airbags

Major auto manufacturer offers longer hours, incentives to fix airbags

TAMPA — With nearly 200,000 people around Tampa Bay still driving around with defective airbags that could kill them, a major automaker is trying to dramatically cut that number down this week.Fiat Chrystler Automobiles U.S. has launched Airbag Recal...
Updated: 2 hours ago
This 6-year-old kid made $11 million in one year reviewing toys on You Tube

This 6-year-old kid made $11 million in one year reviewing toys on You Tube

When most people think back on the child celebrities of their time, they likely think of child movie actors, the well-trained stars of showbiz. For some, these were stars like Mary Kate and Ashley Olson, or Macaulay Carson Culkin from "Home Alone." F...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Ticket-fighting firm hires former Florida Bar president to sue the Bar

Ticket-fighting firm hires former Florida Bar president to sue the Bar

Times Staff WriterWell, this is awkward. A company that is suing the Florida Bar has hired a former Bar president to represent it. Ramon Abadin has joined the legal team of TIKD, a company that expedites the process of fighting traffic tickets in Pin...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Tampa: Hundreds protest Trump’s decision on Jerusalem

Tampa: Hundreds protest Trump’s decision on Jerusalem

TAMPA — Hundreds rallied near the University of South Florida on Friday night to protest President Donald Trump’s recent declaration that the United States will recognize the divided city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.The protest was organize...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/09/17

Duke outage leaves 7,700 without power near Pinellas Park

PINELLAS PARK — Up to 7,700 customers across Pinellas Park, Lealman and Kenneth City lost power in a Thursday night outage, according to Duke Energy.The outage impacted a cloverleaf-shaped area of customers, with pedals extending in the cardinal dire...
Published: 12/08/17
Express lanes set to open on Veterans. They’re free -- for now.

Express lanes set to open on Veterans. They’re free -- for now.

TAMPA — Drivers on the Veterans Expressway will gain an extra lane from Gunn Highway to Hillsborough Avenue starting Saturday.But there’s a catch: Once drivers enter the lane, they won’t be able to leave it — not until a designated exit about six mil...
Published: 12/08/17
St. Petersburg chamber of commerce charts ‘Grow Smarter’ economic development strategy

St. Petersburg chamber of commerce charts ‘Grow Smarter’ economic development strategy

Times Staff WriterST. PETERSBURG — What started more than five years ago as an exploratory conversation among a handful of business leaders blossomed Friday into a full-blown community discussion of how to nurture business while working to make sure ...
Published: 12/08/17
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater makes Orlando tourists a top target

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater makes Orlando tourists a top target

In a decision driven by some major data crunching, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater next year will focus its tourism advertising on three target markets: Orlando, New York City and its Tampa Bay home."Research is going to dictate our behaviors and direction...
Published: 12/08/17
Having JW Marriott run Water Street Tampa’s new 519-room hotel expected to help Tampa pursue more upscale conventions

Having JW Marriott run Water Street Tampa’s new 519-room hotel expected to help Tampa pursue more upscale conventions

TAMPA — JW Marriott, a luxury hotel brand new to Tampa, will run the new 519-room hotel that the Water Street Tampa project is building next to the Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina, developers announced Friday.Construction on the 26-story hotel is ...
Published: 12/08/17