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Business Observer Friday, May 11, 2007 12 years ago

Aysegul Timur: Where are the jobs?

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Southwest Florida's economy has benefited from population and income growth. Expect Gulf Coast counties to continue generating service-related jobs in the years ahead.

Aysegul Timur: Where are the jobs?

GULF COAST ECONOMY by Aysegul Timur, Ph.D | Economist

Southwest Florida's economy has benefited from population and income growth. Expect Gulf Coast counties to continue generating service-related jobs in the years ahead.

Southwest Florida has been experiencing rapid economic growth spurred by a fast-growing population over the last decade. Florida had the fastest job growth rate and lowest unemployment rate of the 10 most populous states in the United States, according to the Florida Research and Economic Database in 2006.

But which jobs and industries will grow the most and which will grow the least in the near future? What types of industries and occupations will drive the economy?

Theoretically, economic growth has significant impact on the changes in labor demand as well as wage rates and employment. Increases in labor demand for certain industries and occupations result in increases in employment and decreases in labor demand result in employment declines.

The following tables show the 10 fastest- and slowest-growing industries and occupations. It is no coincidence or surprise that service-oriented businesses dominate the list in all Gulf Coast counties as well as statewide. This is also very consistent with the fact that the demand for service workers in the United States is greater than the demand for manufacturing, construction and mining workers.

Administrative and support services consistently ranks at the top of the fastest-growing industries and most new jobs forecast from 2006 to 2014 in the region that stretches from Collier to Hillsborough counties. This is in line with projections for the entire state.

Other fast-growing industries include educational services, ambulatory health care services, management of companies and amusement. Gambling and recreation is also among the top 10 industries gaining the most new jobs due to the general increase in tourism and the popularity of gambling. The other industries gaining the most new jobs include food services and drinking places, local government, and nursing- and residential-care facilities.

Moreover, the 10 fastest-growing occupations are mainly related to health care, medical assisting and computers. The rising demand for health-care labor is due to the growing demand for health services caused by the aging of the population and rising incomes that led to larger expenditures on health care. In addition, private and public insurance let people to buy more health care. Meanwhile, the increase in demand for network, data communication analysts and computer software engineers arises from the demand for computers, computer services and Internet use.

In general, the 10 occupations gaining the most new jobs are directly related to service businesses such as retail salespersons, customer service representatives, waiters and waitresses, office clerks and health-care services such as registered nurses. This is consistent with statewide data.

In fact, Lee and Collier counties have almost the same list of top-10 occupations gaining the most new jobs with minor differences (Collier needs more cooks and restaurants while Lee needs construction laborers.) Sarasota, Manatee and Hillsborough counties also have almost the same occupations gaining the most new jobs as their neighbors and as compared with the rest of the state. The main sources of growth in these occupations are rising incomes and population.

In contrast, some occupations will experience job losses between 2006 and 2014. Many of them owe their declines to labor-saving technological changes. For instance, computerized equipment has dramatically reduced the need for file clerks, stock clerks and order fillers, meter readers, mail clerks, credit authorizers, checkers and clerks. There is also going to be a significant decline in the number of traditional computer operators due to the fast growth of networked personal computers.

All these are consistent with a general declining trend in these occupations in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment projections from 2004 to 2014.

The other declining occupations are related to farm workers and ranchers, reflecting the income demand for food, technological improvements of farm equipment and the consolidation of smaller farms. Tax preparers and operators of photo-processing equipment are also declining occupations because of improving computer technology.

All of these projections show that job growth on the Gulf Coast is consistent with national and statewide trends, especially in the service-related fields of medical care, retailing and computer technology.

Aysegul Timur, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Business Administration at the Kenneth Oscar Johnson School of Business at International College. Dr. Timur is also a management, economics and statistics consultant and a corporate trainer for local companies in Southwest Florida. She can be reached at 239-513-1122 or [email protected]

BY THE NUMBERS

The 10 Fastest Growing Industries

Projected

Employment Employment

Rank Occupation Title 2006 2014 Annual % Growth

1 Administrative and Support Services 827,898 1,101,428 3.93

2 Educational Services 128,308 164,187 3.5

3 Water Transportation 12,915 16,480 3.45

4 Ambulatory Health Care Services 344,446 437,951 3.39

5 Social Assistance 101,756 129,052 3.35

6 Museums, Historical Sites and Similar Industries 6,122 7,660 3.14

7 Furniture and Home Furnishing Stores 44,294 55,341 3.12

8 Motion Picture and Sound Recording Industries 14,839 18,192 2.82

9 Nursing and Residential Care Facilities 155,761 190,101 2.76

10 Management of Companies and Enterprises 73,932 90,153 2.74

Source: Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation, Labor Market Statistics Center-October 2006

The 10 Industries Gaining The Most New Jobs

Projected

Employment Employment

Rank Occupation Title 2006 2014 Annual % Growth

1 Administrative and Support Services 837,898 1,101,428 3.93

2 Local Government 747,349 860,567 1.89

3 Food Services and Drinking Places 572,252 673,737 2.22

4 Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 439,621 534,618 2.7

5 Ambulatory Health Care Services 344,446 437,951 3.39

6 Specialty Trade Contractors 394,104 469,441 2.39

7 Educational Services 128,308 164,187 3.5

8 Nursing and Residential Care Facilities 155,761 190,101 2.76

9 Hospitals 239,595 271,497 1.66

10 General Merchandise Stores 180,497 211,768 2.17

Source: Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation, Labor Market Statistics Center-October 2006

The 10 Fastest Growing Occupations

Projected

Employment Employment

Rank Occupation Title 2006 2014 Annual % Growth 1 Network & Data Communications Analysts 18,878 26,722 5.19

2 Physician Assistants 4,641 6,511 5.04

3 Medical Assistants 28,667 39,446 4.7

4 Computer Software Engineers, Applications 17,555 23,809 4.45

5 Computer Software Engineers, Systems Software 17,229 23,009 4.19

6 Network and Computer Systems Administrators 13,793 18,384 4.16

7 Database Administrators 5,450 7,253 4.14

8 Tile & Marble Setters 9,024 11,978 4.09

9 Home Health Aides 30,303 40,191 4.08

10 Dental Hygienists 9,911 13,017 3.92

Source: Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation, Labor Market Statistics Center-October 2006

The 10 Occupations Gaining the Most New Jobs

Employment Projected Average

2006 Employment Annual % Annual

Rank Occupation Title 2014 Growth Openings*

1 Retail Salespersons 308,854 367,694 2.38 7,355

2 Waiters and Waitresses 196,887 237,515 2.58 5,078

3 Customer Service Representatives 155,861 194,576 3.1 4,839

4 Registered Nurses 147,050 183,478 3.1 4,554

5 Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping 130,111 157,463 2.63 3,419

6 Office Clerks, General 216,113 242,321 1.52 3,276

7 Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers 113,764 139,152 2.79 3,174

8 Food Preparation & Serving Workers, Including Fast food 155,807 180,632 1.99 3,103

9 Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand 146,874 169,473 1.92 2,825

10 Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants 87,418 107,433 2.86 2,502

Source: Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation, Labor Market Statistics Center-October 2006; * Due to Growth

The 10 Declining or Slow-Growth Occupations Employment Projected Average

2006 Employment Annual % Annual

Rank Occupation Title 2014 Change Openings*

1 File Clerks 19,997 14,322 -3.55 -709

2 Stock Clerks & Order Clerks 121,394 119,120 -0.23 -284

3 Order Clerks 12,276 10,336 -1.98 -242

4 Mail Clerks and Machine Operators, Exc. Postal Service 7,355 54,601 -3.22 -237

5 Computer Operators 6,223 4,719 -3.02 -188

6 Credit Authorizers, Checkers, & Clerks 3,997 2,791 -3.77 -151

7 Farmers & Ranchers 39,003 38,107 -0.29 -112

8 Word Processors and Typist 8,855 7,960 -1.26 -112

9 Photographic Processing Machine Operators 3,268 2,617 -2.49 -81

10 Telephone Operators 2,523 1,912 -3.03 -76

Source: Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation, Labor Market Statistics Center-October 2006

* Due to growth

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