Just How Is Florida's Economy Doing?
He then went on to list a number of what he said are "positive indicators that show the progress the state has made recently." Here's what he gave us:
More Jobs Being Created
• Florida has experienced positive annual job growth now for 27 consecutive months.
• Florida’s job growth month-to-month has been positive for 13 of the last 16 months.
• Florida is expected to create more than 900,000 new jobs by 2018, according to the Florida Economic Estimating Conference.
• Florida job postings increased sharply in October 2012 compared to the previous October by 28,140 (an increase of 11.9 percent), for a total of 264,636 openings (seasonally adjusted) according to the Help Wanted OnLine data series from the Conference Board.
Economic Growth Trends Up Across State
• The University of Florida’s Consumer Confidence Index reported that optimism among Floridians remained near a post-recession high in October. The Index reports that Floridians’ positive outlook is holding consistently at or near a five-year high.
• More people are moving into Florida. Net in-migration is up (more people moving into Florida than moving away) to an estimated 134,500 in 2012 – almost doubling 2011 in-migration of 68,000.
• Florida housing starts were up over the year in September (the most recent month available) by 29.3 percent and median home prices were up 7.4 percent over the year.
• Home sales remain robust as the backlog of existing homes on the market is down by 40 percent from September 2011 (Florida Realtors).
• Florida is running a trade surplus of over $24 billion – with $86.8 billion in exports and $62.4 billion in imports in 2011, up from $73.1 billion in exports in 2010 and $53.2 billion in imports in 2010.
Unemployment Continues to Decline
• Florida’s unemployment rate has now declined year-over-year for 23 consecutive months.
• Initial claims for Re-employment Assistance benefits were down by 12.4 percent from one year ago, while continued claims were down from an average of 553,000 in December 2010 to 293,268 in October 2012, a 47 percent decrease.
Workforce Boards Assisting in Employment
• In October, the state’s 24 Regional Workforce Boards reported a record of more than 50,423 Floridians placed in jobs.
• An individual who receives employment and training assistance through a One-Stop Career Center and finds a job within 180 days is deemed a placement and may be reported by a regional workforce board. Of these individuals, 15,078 previously received Re-employment Assistance. Since January, more than 337,000 Floridians were placed in jobs, with nearly 85,000 former claimants finding employment.