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Business Observer Friday, Aug. 9, 2019 3 months ago

Report reveals Florida's scores for areas that impact manufacturing

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The 2019 Manufacturing Scorecard, from Ball State University, grades Florida and other states on economic areas that impact manufacturing and logistics.

There was some improvement, but Florida’s report card for manufacturing might not be displayed on the fridge anytime soon.

In a recent Ball State University nationwide industry report, Florida saw improvement in a couple areas but also maintained several scores. The 2019 Manufacturing Scorecard, from the school’s Center for Business and Economic Research, grades Florida and other states on economic areas that impact manufacturing and logistics.

And in Florida, manufacturing has muscle. The industry represents 3.1% of the state economy, according to the report, and statewide earnings from manufacturing total $23.36 billion. 

The Sunshine State’s improvements in the report, meanwhile, come in two areas. The first, benefit costs, improved from a C grade to a B. The category includes nonwage labor costs, from health care costs to workers’ compensation to retirement. The other area Florida improved on was human capital, going from a C in 2018 to a C+ in 2019. Human capital includes the quality and availability of labor. The measurements for that area are based on educational statistics.

Florida maintained its grades from last year in several categories, achieving an A again for tax climate, B again for sector diversification and expected liability gap, C again for logistics industry health as well as productivity and innovation and D again for manufacturing industry health and global reach.

The report says global reach speaks to the state’s level of international trade in exports and imports, with the category acting as a measure of competitiveness. Because the categories of manufacturing industry health and global reach represent the state’s lowest scores, there’s particular work to be done in those two areas. According to the report, “Both firms and regional governments focus considerable effort at improving ties with foreign firms. How well this is done is an important predictor of the health of state manufacturing and logistics sectors into the future.”

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