Job growth in Florida slowed for the second straight month in April, with the state adding only 13,200 jobs from March to April. In addition, Florida’s payrolls have increased only 28,400 so far this year (non-seasonally adjusted) thanks in large part to a strong decline in jobs for the month of January – which is historically the case.
In all, though, month-over-month job growth has been modest since late last year. Amidst uncertainty surrounding the election, and further turmoil in Washington, employers might still be in “wait and see” mode until things settle down – a factor contributing to slower growth.
Another contributing factor is a talent shortage coupled with near- or full-employment levels. The unemployment rate, which is 4.0 percent for the state as a whole, is at or near historic lows in many cities across the Florida. For example, Orlando’s unemployment rate currently sits at 3.6 percent. The area experienced a year-over-year increase of 3.6 percent in employment, placing it among one of the fastest growth job markets in the country.
However, the metro added just 6,300 jobs in May (a monthly increase of 0.5 percent). In South Florida, where we’ve seen 80 months of year-over-year office sector employment growth, two of those sectors saw job loses compared with a year ago – the first time this has happened since the recession.
Still, continued employment growth throughout the state among near- or full-employment is a sign of confidence in the state’s economy; further, Florida is still outpacing the nation as a whole. As the market continues to tighten, the state should see stronger growth in wages, which has been relatively minimal during most of the recovery and even less so in some of the Florida’s larger counties.
As we enter a traditionally slower time during the summer in terms of job growth, and possible changes from the Fed at their June meeting, it will be interesting to monitor the situation. Are we entering a period where labor shortages will help drive wages and worker mobility, or is slow job growth the new normal?
Below are links to the Florida Employment Updates, which spotlight employment trends in the state’s major metropolitan areas for the month of April (utilizing data released in May).
Marc is the JLL Research Manager for the State of Florida, overseeing commercial real estate analysis across six markets with a strong focus on examining economic and demographic trends and variables that affect the performance of the office, industrial and retail markets in addition to the state’s overall economic health. In this role, Marc is responsible for monitoring real estate activity throughout the state, as well as analyzing market fundamentals and trends occurring in each market in order to provide insightful analysis and assistance to local and national clients regarding real estate strategies. Marc is also responsible for leading strategic advisory services to clients in Florida. Contact Marc.