- Population: 20,984,400
- 2018 job growth: 2.3%
- 2017 job growth: 2.2%
- New jobs in 2018: 193,400
- New jobs in 2017: 181,500
- Unemployment rate by year-end 2018: 3.7%
- Unemployment rate at year-end 2017: 3.9%
Florida GDP is expected to grow about 3.8 percent in 2018 and 2019, well above the national average. Construction is booming: a new high-rise is going up in Miami, and many retail strips are being converted to upscale. Housing starts will rise 10% this year and 6% next year, with home prices continuing to rise 6 percent to 10 percent on high demand. Florida still faces an oversupply of luxury condos, but cheaper housing is tight in most areas of the state. The manufacturing sector is surging, along with much of the service sector. Workers are becoming scarcer, as unemployment rates are dropping fast in many metro areas. Residual effects of the Hurricane Irma evacuation are still keeping labor force growth low in the southwest and the southern Atlantic coast. Orlando continues to be the hottest growth area, with gains in tech, aerospace, and healthcare. Also, the resort beaches of the Panhandle are beginning to be discovered.
Domestic tourism to Florida is still setting records, but international tourism is down, especially to Miami. Latin American currencies have fallen in relation to the dollar this year. Overseas immigration to the state is also down.
The tax law change limiting the amount of property deductions may increase relocations to the Florida Atlantic coast from the Northeastern states. Any effect should be seen later this year and next.