Saturday, May 19, 2018
Business

State economists: Florida's jobs picture to remain bleak

TALLAHASSEE — Florida's unemployment rate probably won't change much between now and the end of the year, and the jobs picture is set to remain bleak through 2016, a team of state economists said Monday.

With a troubled real estate market and trouble brewing in Europe, the state economy faces a prolonged uphill climb, according to the Economic Estimating Conference, a group of state labor experts.

The group's long-term predictions about the economy have potential repercussions for the both the presidential election in November and the 2014 race for governor.

As President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney vie for Florida's 29 electoral votes, they will likely be doing so at a time when the state's employment numbers remain stagnant. When Gov. Rick Scott runs for re-election in 2014, Florida will likely be suffering from high joblessness, with a rate near 8 percent.

Even if job creation accelerates in the coming months, that might not translate into declining unemployment right away, since the current rate has been skewed by large numbers of people leaving the labor market in recent months, the economists said.

"At some point, when the economy starts getting better, you're going to see those folks coming back into the labor force, and begin actively looking for a job again," said Amy Baker, head of the state Legislature's Office of Economic and Demographic Research. "You could see that put a little upward pressure at least to flatten out, a little bit, the unemployment rate."

Here are a few expectations from the Economic Estimating Conference:

• Unemployment is expected to remain at or near its current rate of 8.6 percent throughout the rest of the year.

• Florida's unemployment rate will probably not fall below 7 percent until 2016, and will be higher than the national unemployment rate until 2018.

• Impending foreclosures and a tight credit market will likely be a drag on the housing market for several years.

• Tourism will likely take a hit from the economic problems in Europe and the slowdown in China's growth rate.

There was some good news as well. Car sales have come in higher than expected so far this year, and the trend lines continue to point upward.

"The auto industry is doing well," said Clyde Diao, an economist with the governor's office. "Gas prices have gone down, so probably people are more inclined to buy new SUVs and trucks."

Also, Florida has collected about $400 million in revenue above estimates so far this year, welcome news for a Legislature that has had to wrangle over a tight budget since the beginning of the recession.

But as financial problems once again mount in Europe, Florida could feel the ripple effects in its tourism industry and housing market.

And real estate, one of the state's main economic drivers, is forecast to remain troubled for several years to come. Because it takes more than two years for the average foreclosure to run its course in Florida, the recent uptick in foreclosures is likely to affect prices through 2014.

"What I think about a lot is the inventory we have out there and foreclosures hitting the market over the next two years," said Baker. "I think that's going to tend to depress prices."

Toluse Olorunnipa can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @ToluseO

Comments
Camping without the hassle: New service rents you all the gear you need, plus the car

Camping without the hassle: New service rents you all the gear you need, plus the car

One day in April, I returned from a camping trip - a quick 24 out of the city - and ran a load of laundry. What’s more telling is what I didn’t do.I didn’t hose down a muddy tent, I didn’t soak a shoddily cleaned pot, and I categorically did not empt...
Published: 05/19/18
Romano: Save your money, sports betting won’t be in Florida anytime soon

Romano: Save your money, sports betting won’t be in Florida anytime soon

It is the middle of the day and the beginning of the off-season at Tampa Bay Downs. That means the action is limited to simulcast wagering, and that means the televisions outnumber the bettors.The parimutuel industry is long past its heyday in Americ...
Published: 05/19/18
Son of Crabby Bill’s founder leaves complex legacy of troubled projects and good deeds

Son of Crabby Bill’s founder leaves complex legacy of troubled projects and good deeds

SOUTH PASADENA — Like his father, who founded the Crabby Bill’s seafood restaurant chain, John Loder Sr. had a larger-than-life personality. That was one reason he dived into the real estate business, becoming a well-known, if at times controversial ...
Published: 05/18/18
Updated: 05/19/18
Global Tampa Bay initiative seeks to grow direct foreign investment through expanded regional teamwork

Global Tampa Bay initiative seeks to grow direct foreign investment through expanded regional teamwork

TAMPA — A decade ago, the Great Recession put Hillsborough and Pinellas counties’ efforts to grow their foreign exports on hold.But since then those efforts have returned, gained support and momentum, expanded the range of their ambition and are now ...
Published: 05/18/18
Florida unemployment holds at 3.9 percent, state adds 9,600 jobs

Florida unemployment holds at 3.9 percent, state adds 9,600 jobs

Florida’s economy appears to have plateaued with its unemployment rate holding at 3.9 percent for the seventh straight month, according to the April report released Friday.But some economists say it may be a good thing if the rate doesn’t fall much m...
Published: 05/18/18
Lawsuit over Riverwalk Place tower in downtown Tampa settled

Lawsuit over Riverwalk Place tower in downtown Tampa settled

TAMPA — A lawsuit over the mix of residences and offices in the planned $350 million Riverwalk Place tower has been dropped.Last August, Riverwalk Tower Investment-Intown LLC, which had been expected to be one of the developers in the project, filed ...
Published: 05/18/18
Orlando’s new attractions power jump in theme park attendance

Orlando’s new attractions power jump in theme park attendance

By MIKE SCHNEIDERORLANDO — The arms race to build new theme park attractions in Orlando is paying dividends. A new report released this week shows theme park attendance at the largest parks in North America last year was up 2.3 percent, powered by ne...
Published: 05/18/18
How Mosaic’s relocation could help Tampa International Airport land a flight to Brazil

How Mosaic’s relocation could help Tampa International Airport land a flight to Brazil

Tampa International covets a nonstop flight to Săo Paulo, Brazil. Mosaic Co, which is moving its headquarters to Hillsborough County, has huge holdings in the country, including several mines. Could Mosaic’s relocation help TIA realize its dream? It ...
Published: 05/18/18
Remember that upscale Guy Harvey RV resort near Tarpon Springs. Forget the Guy Harvey part

Remember that upscale Guy Harvey RV resort near Tarpon Springs. Forget the Guy Harvey part

HOLIDAY — A year ago this month, Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts announced plans for its first-ever RV park, near Tarpon Springs where the Anclote River empties into the Gulf of Mexico.The $35 million resort, named after the popular Jamaican marine artist...
Published: 05/18/18
American Dream Miami to become largest mall in U.S. after final approval

American Dream Miami to become largest mall in U.S. after final approval

MIAMI — A gigantic $4 billion retail and entertainment complex won government approval Thursday after years of debate, greenlighting what promises to be the largest mall in North America, just a few miles from the environmentally sensitive Everglades...
Published: 05/18/18