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Florida's Agriculture and Natural Resources Industries Stay Strong Post-Recession

A new study from the University of Florida reveals Florida's agricultural and natural resources industries still remain strong and continue to improve, even after the recession. Along with the related food industries they provided a whopping $104 billion impact on the state in 2011.

The industries provided full-time and part-time employment for just under 2 million workers in 2011, which amounts to about 20 percent of all jobs in the state. The number of jobs in these industries increased by about 60,000 -- or 4.4 percent -- from 2010 to 2011. Employment was highest in larger counties like Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, and Duval.

The industries include crop, livestock, forestry and fisheries production; agricultural product and service providers; forest product manufacturing; food product manufacturing;food distribution; mining and nature-based recreation. These industries contributed to 8.5 percent of Florida's gross domestic product, making them fourth behind real estate, government, and health care industries.

We saw continued growth in many segments of the industry in 2011, said Alan Hodges, a UF/IFAS extension scientist and co-author of the study. There definitely was a dip during the recession, but since then there has been a nice recovery as output and employment in the industry have increased.

Hodges also said the industries have benefited from a growth in exports since the recession.

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