20 Jul SOUTH FLORIDA IS DOING ITS PART TO CONTRIBUTE TO FLORIDA’S NEW TRILLION DOLLAR ECONOMY
July 20, 2018 – The state of Florida recorded an epic financial milestone last week. Growing at a rate of $2.7 billion every day, Florida’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has topped $1 trillion. To put that into perspective, if Florida was an independent country, our trillion-dollar economy would rank as the 17th largest in the world – ahead of Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Argentina, according to the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
The economist who authored the study pointed to growth in manufacturing and manufacturing jobs, which is growing faster in Florida than in other parts of the US.
The $1 trillion figure was calculated based on the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis‘ most recent GDP number of $984 million for the fourth quarter of 2017, and a formula that projects current statistics that have yet to be factored in by the bureau, including job growth, goods, services and other factors.
While manufacturing contributed to the largest increase, tourism is still king in Florida, contributing more than half of the new trillion-dollar record. Both metro Orlando and Miami have been enjoying low unemployment, population growth and a heavy increase in tourism.
Additionally, South Florida has contributed to these impressive numbers by way of its shipping industry. Larger ships arriving at South Florida ports are opening new trade opportunities and helping to propel the area into being an even greater manufacturing and logistics hub. According to Jaap Donath, senior vice president of Research and Strategic Planning at the Beacon Council (Miami-Dade County’s economic development partnership), PortMiami recently completed $1 billion in capital improvements by deepening its channel to a 52-foot depth, installing new Super-Post-Panamax cranes and improving rail and road access. In early June, the port welcomed the 1,063-foot-long, 10,081-TEU Maersk Shanghai, the largest ship to ever call at a Florida port.
Miami’s role as a gateway to the Americas is not new, but these improvements and developments are attracting more companies to base operations in South Florida as a means of positioning themselves as a hub between North and South America. The larger ships and waterway access have also provided greater access to Asia, driving an 11% growth in the past year, bringing additional manufacturing jobs and activity.
South Florida’s proximity to the Caribbean and Latin America continues to attract North American, European and Asian companies serving the Western Hemisphere. Leading multi-nationals companies with offices in South Florida include: Eli Lilly, ExxonMobil, Ferragamo Latin America, Fujifilm USA, General Motors, KraftHeinz, Mazda North America, Novartis Latin America, Office Depot, Panasonic Latin America, Porsche Latin America and Siemens.
According to the Beacon Council, Miami-Dade experienced steady job growth of 2%, or 23,400 payroll jobs (non-farming), over a one-year period across all industries with Education and Health Services at 8,600 and Professional and Business Services at 5,000, leading the increases.
Even though South Florida has troubling issues with wage gaps (ranked No. 1 among all large cities), a less than stellar public transportation system, and a decent chance of us being swallowed up by the ocean, things are looking pretty good. With the new tax laws in our favor and a healthy economy, South Florida is rapidly solidifying itself as one of the top places that people from around the world want to relocate to. An ideal place to live, work and thrive – the days of being a mecca for snowbirds and retirees are long gone.