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Start-Ups Drive Florida Job Creation, Report Finds

December 12, 2011 - 6:00pm

The Foundation for Government Accountability, an organization launched earlier in the year pushing free-market solutions in the Sunshine State, released a study Tuesday indicating new businesses are one of the leading economic engines in Florida, creating almost 1.5 million jobs from 2005-2009.

Start-up companies are Floridas top job creators, said Tarren Bragdon, a former Maine state legislator who serves as the president and CEO of FGA. Our policies must help start-up entrepreneurs open their doors sooner, hire their first employees quicker and get Floridians back to work.

Joseph Burke, an economist with the FGA, penned Job Growth Overview: Start-Up Companies are Floridas Top Job Creators, which the organization promises will be the first report in their Start-Up Florida series focusing on new businesses and their role in the Sunshine States economy. The FGA noted on Tuesday that upcoming "Start-Up Florida" reports will focus on how state and local governments can help or hinder new businesses in Florida.

Burkes report found that Florida start-ups had created 1.475 million jobs, including more than 788,000 net jobs, which FGA defined as job creation minus job destruction," since 2005. Other companies created just less than 160,000 net jobs during the same period.

The report notes that almost 44,300 new companies were established each year in the Sunshine State during that period but, since 2007, the average number decreased as the economic slowdown continues to hit Florida worse than much of the rest of the nation. The national unemployment rate for November 2011 stood at 8.6 percent. As of October 2011, the last month for which there are statistics, the unemployment rate in Florida stood at 10.3 percent. The state will release the unemployment figures for November on Friday.

Insisting that the unemployment rate would be higher in the Sunshine State without new businesses, the FGA maintains that they will play a large role in getting the states economy back on track.

Promoting start-ups is the key to Floridas economic recovery, Burke noted in the report.Reducing the time and cost it takes entrepreneurs to launch start-ups will encourage job creation and help put more Floridians back to work."

Bragdon highlighted the important role new businesses have in Floridas economy.

The conventional wisdom that small businesses are the key to job creation is incomplete, Bragdon said. To create jobs and help get people back to work requires a complete picture of whats working, and that picture must include start-ups. Start-ups are Floridas top job creators. They are crucial to lifting Florida from this recession.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.

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