The state of Florida’s foundation is strong and poised for growth in workforce, innovation and economic activity in the coming year, according to the Florida Chamber Foundation’s annual state-of-the-state report presented October 15 at the Foundation’s 2013 Future of Florida Forum.
Bentina Terry, Vice President of External Affairs and Corporate Services for Gulf Power Company and Chair of the Florida Chamber Foundation, presented the annual report during the official opening ceremonies of the Future of Florida Forum taking place in Orlando.
“In just one year, Florida’s economy has seen a substantial boost with 3,000 more businesses than last year, and 131,000 net new jobs,” said Terry. “Florida also regained a Top 10 ranking for educational quality and prepared 224,120 college students to enter the workforce. With record-breaking tourism numbers, a rising housing market, continued export growth and increased manufacturing output – Florida’s economy grew by more than $30 billion from the previous year.”
While Florida’s fundamentals are strong, there is much work to be done.
“We have a responsibility to lead Florida in the right direction to help ensure we continue to secure Florida’s future through private-sector job creation and economic growth,” Terry added.
While Florida is poised for growth in workforce, innovation and economic activity, Florida still faces challenges:
- While 20,000 net new jobs are created each month, 13,000 initial new reemployment claims are filed each week,
- Half of the drop in unemployment is from workers dropping out of the labor force,
- Florida experienced 70,902 foreclosures last quarter, and
- 39 states posted higher income gains over the last year.
Building on Florida’s economic foundation – tourism, agriculture and growth – Florida has the potential of creating 150,000 new trade and logistics jobs over the next five years. The Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida Trade and Logistics Study 2.0 (TL2.0 study) builds on Florida’s once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the state’s economy to become a global hub for trade, logistics and export-oriented manufacturing activities.
The TL2.0 study identifies seven strategies that can be accomplished through a coordinated statewide action on workforce, transportation, economic development and business climate.
TL2.0 builds upon previous Florida Chamber Foundation research, including the first Trade and Logistics Study, the International and Transportation Cornerstones (1998/1999) and other statewide initiatives such as the Florida Department of Transportation’s Florida Transportation Plan 2060. The study also uses the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Six Pillars framework to clearly identify essential areas for strategic development tied to creating jobs, advancing economic growth and diversifying the state’s economy.