Advertisement
  1. Business

Forecast: Florida job creation slowing down this year

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, left, and House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O' Lakes, right, have been locked in a bitter battle over the fate of Enterprise Florida. The Florida Chamber predicts a slowdown in job creation in part because companies fear the jobs incentive program is in peril.
[SCOTT KEELER | Times]

Published Mar. 22, 2017

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Chamber of Commerce predicts that the rising streak of job creation in the state is behind us.

Jerry Parrish, the Florida Chamber of Commerce's chief economist, forecasts that Florida will create 190,000 new jobs in 2017, down from the 244,400 jobs created last year.

Parrish told a group during the chamber's Capitol Days event in Tallahassee Tuesday that job creation in Florida peaked in April 2016. But uncertainty in the Florida Legislature — including the shaky fate of the state's economic development organization Enterprise Florida — is tipping the scales.

"The signals they're sending to Florida businesses is that we're not going to compete anymore," Parrish said during the reveal of the chamber's 2017 Florida Scorecard, an annual review of business analysis for the state.

"Few recruiters and companies are looking at Florida because of the rhetoric right now. If you're not investing private dollars in this state, you're not going to create as many jobs."

Parrish predicts that job creation will continue to dip in the years to come.

"It's going to be tougher and tougher to create jobs in this state. Now is not the time to abandon our proven economic development program," he said.

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran has made it a priority during this legislative session to abolish Enterprise Florida, the taxpayer-supported, public-private entity that uses economic incentives to lure companies to Florida. The future of the program is unclear three weeks into session.

Previous coverage: Leaving Rick Scott in lurch, Enterprise Florida CEO resigns after just 2 months on job

However, Gov. Rick Scott has been on a relentless push to save both Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida, the state's tourism marketing arm. In his latest move to bolster the two programs, Scott is coming to the Allen Sports Center in Seminole Wednesday morning to host a "Fighting for Florida Jobs" roundtable with business owners, economic development leaders, tourism leaders, and community members.

Parrish said Florida has had "a really good run" with job creation, but deemed the future as fragile. The move to end Enterprise Florida "is absolutely costing us jobs and will cost us jobs in the future," he said. "This will affect us for the next couple of years."

Parrish estimates that the state will need 800,000 new jobs by 2020 and 2 million by 2030 to keep up with rapid population growth.

The Florida Scorecard showed that the unemployment rate in Florida has increased this year by about 5 percent. Consumer sentiment is declining.

In Hillsborough County, the unemployment rate is rising to 4.9 percent, but otherwise the county is growing at a rapid rate. The number of building permits filed are up as well as sales tax revenue. The county has added nearly 19,000 new jobs year over year.

In Pinellas, the unemployment rate is 4.8 percent but is rising. The number of housing permits is up and signals a boost in new construction. Pinellas County added more than 13,000 new jobs year over year.

The unemployment rate in Pasco County is the highest in Tampa Bay this year at 5.7 percent. However, the county has seen a similar trend of a boost in new housing permits and growing sales revenue. Pasco added just over 6,000 new jobs year over year.

"We don't need to invest more, we need to invest smarter," said Mark Wilson, president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. "It's a very hostile environment right now. Job creation shouldn't be partisan."

Contact Justine Griffin at jgriffin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8467. Follow @SunBizGriffin

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. A huge number of homes owned by Baby Boomers will sell in the next 20 years. How will the trend affect the Florida housing market? CAMERON GILLIE  |  NAPLES DAILY NEWS
    The enormous generation born between 1946 and 1964 owns about 40 percent of the homes across the country.
  2. Service dog Eleanor Rigby unexpectedly gave birth to eight puppies at Tampa International Airport as her human family was waiting near gate F81 to board a flight to Philadelphia in May 2018. The airport is getting ready to add pet-relief areas at its airsides for service dogs. (EMILY NIPPS | Tampa International Airport) Tampa International Airport
    Work on the new amenities is expected to be completed by next July.
  3. Developers of a proposed apartment complex near St. Petersburg's Mirror Lake area want to tear down this bungalow and replace it with a ramp to the parking garage. Susan Taylor Martin
    The only access would be via a narrow court lined with vintage houses.
  4. Cooling canals, with Turkey Point nuclear power plant in the background. Miami Herald
    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Thursday announced that it had signed off on Florida Power and Light’s latest application for a 20-year extension.
  5. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    Wages rose a solid 3.1% in November compared with a year earlier.
  6. Noah Shaffer of Confidant Asset Management says the restaurant sector in the Tampa Bay area has done well in 2019 and to expect more openings in the coming months. Chick-fil-A Brandon South opened earlier this year.
    So far, the economy appears robust enough to support further expansion, says a local industry professional.
  7. A new retail center and health club are proposed for the Epperson neighborhood in Wesley Chapel, home of the Crystal Lagoon. Preliminary plans show the fitness club near the most eastern edge of the lagoon. SCOTT KEELER  |   Times
    Ryan Companies proposes grocery, retail stores and health club at neighborhood’s entrance
  8. Jamie Harden of Creative Sign Designs and Maryann Ferenc of Mise en Place discuss priorities for the Tampa Bay Chamber for the coming year. Harden is the outgoing chairman of the chamber. Ferenc is the incoming chairwoman. RICHARD DANIELSON | Times
    Leadership of the organization, formerly the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, also says it could have handled its recent name change better.
  9. The snow park in Pasco County will be known Snowcat Ridge Alpine Snow Park and is scheduled to open in November 2020. Snowcat Ridge Alpine Snow Park
    The park in rural east Pasco anticipates opening in November 2020.
  10. Renderings of the proposed Red Apple Group project show a 20-story hotel on the west side of the block, and a building of about six stories facing Central with parking, shops and offices. The 45-story condo tower rises at an angle on the east side of the block. Courtesy of Arquitectonica
    The $300 million project by Red Apple Group would include a hotel and badly needed parking space.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement