Q&A – Why South Florida’s Tech Boom Hasn’t Turned Florida Blue

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Today’s entry: Why is the tech and crypto companies moving here a good thing? They destroyed the states they are now fleeing. Driving up housing costs and generally the way they vote and the policies they support. We narrowly avoided that when we elected DeSantis, why would we court more people that support those policies into the state. Wouldn't it be smarter to try and bring manufacturing and tangible goods to the state?

Bottom Line: In response to your question, all of the above comes to mind and it’s what’s happened in Florida over the past decade. Florida increased manufacturing output by more than any other state from 2010 to 2020 growing by 65% during the decade. As the Florida Chamber of Commerce notes, there are now over 360,000 Floridians working in manufacturing earning an average of $54,000 annually. So, you’ll be happy to know the manufacturing boom has happened alongside our state’s tech boom and is a huge part of our state’s economic success. In fact, manufacturing has grown faster than employment within technology companies specifically over the past decade. 

Florida added 120,000 additional jobs within the technology space over the past decade, for a growth rate of 26%. Currently, about 8% of Florida’s economy is within the technology sector. Quoting analytics firm CompTIA, "Technology powered job growth and economic gains in the past decade in Florida and across the county while delivering countless benefits in how we work, communicate, create and share". There’s another key component. Income. The average full-time income in Florida for the approximate 450,000 Floridians working in technology is nearly $72,000. That’s a number that’s rising fast as well.

The two most recent South Florida technology announcements have been for a $1 billion expansion by Reef Technology adding 1,000 positions. For full-time positions, salaries start at $83,400 with supervisory positions north of $180,000. And Okcoin where the starting full time salary is $90,000 and the average is $106,000.

This is where it’s very simple for me. Do I want those jobs and that income going to some other state or do I want it in Florida? That’s a no brainer from my perspective and every Floridian in the workforce benefits. The aforementioned Chamber review showed that for every ten jobs we’re adding in Florida’s growth industries, we’re adding an additional 12 jobs in other sectors. This goes hand in hand with the study my business participated in with the US Chamber of Commerce around 2000 in which we discovered that every dollar earned and spent locally touched an average of seven different hands compared to 3.7 for companies based outside of a community. People aren’t about to stop using technology so we’re far better off economically in Florida for having hubs in our state. 

Regarding the politics of it all. Despite record relocations of people from blue states and the growth in the technology space. What people forget is that even in the bluest states and in the bluest industries there are conservatives/Republicans. There’s ample evidence that more often than not, those who relocate to Florida are NPA’s or Republicans. I’ll also point out Florida’s most overt crypto fan, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is a Republican. 

Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Parler & Twitter: @brianmuddradio 

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