2018 was a great year for the US economy and jobs across the country. The good news included hitting record low unemployment rates for Asians, blacks, Hispanics, foreign-born Americans, Native Americans, and women. Add in the best wage growth in 13 years and we were cooking with gas. But that was national, in Florida we did even better. Here are some of the highlights based on last Friday’s report from the state.
First of all, 3.3% unemployment that's 15% lower than the national average of 3.9%. Followed by 231,200 new jobs added in 2018 and 22,800 new jobs in December. This results in Florida’s rate of job growth coming in at 50% better than the national average. The jobs we’re adding continue to be diverse and point to continued good news economically in 2019.
The top industries for new jobs to end 2018 were:
- Education & Healthcare
- Leisure and Hospitality
- Professional and business services
- Trade, transportation & utilities
Florida’s manufacturing story continues to be a significant factor as well. We added 12,700 new manufacturing jobs last year. In other words, Florida’s economy has had it working from pretty much all angles.
Now let's take a look at South Florida. In Florida, the unemployment rate is at 3.3%. So how do we compare in the tri-county?
- Broward: 3.1%
- Miami-Dade: 3.6%
- Palm Beach County: 3.3%
So, Florida’s substantially outperforming the national economy all three counties outperformed the US economy significantly. Not just that but the year over year progress has been better in Miami-Dade than any other county in the state, reducing its unemployment rate from 4.7% to 3.6% year over year. There’s a really strong story playing out in South Florida that’s probably not being told well enough. Beyond the unemployment rates, we have a good idea of what’s happening with specific sectors in South Florida.
Broward: Out of ten industries for jobs in the county only leisure and hospitality jobs declined last year. The three fastest areas for job growth were service at 6.4%, construction at 4.5% and trade, transportation & utilities at 2%. For Miami-Dade, out of ten industries for jobs in the county, financial service, and professional and business service jobs declined last year. The three fastest areas for job growth were construction 17.1%, manufacturing 7.5% and information services 4.2%.
You can tell what’s going on in South Florida looking at all of this together. There’s clearly a construction boom going on all throughout South Florida but especially in Miami-Dade. We’re also continuing to see the manufacturing story become an ever-increasing part of our diversified economy. Who’d have thought ten years ago, that the fastest manufacturing growth in the country would be in South Florida? South Florida’s story is a good one that keeps getting better and it’ll be exciting to see what 2019 brings.
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