Florida continues to rely on tourism for jobs
An analysis of jobs data in Florida reveals few surprises, but it does cement one factor economic development officials have long struggled with: the state’s over-reliance on hospitality and tourism as an economic driver.
The data is from U.S. Census information analyzed by Data USA, an organization made up of public and private entities, including accounting giant Deloitte, software firm Datawheel and an MIT professor. The Sunshine State, for starters, states the report, has an “unusually high number of residents working” in tourism related fields, including entertainers, performers, sports and related workers, at 2.86 times higher than expectations; reservation, transportation ticket agents and travel clerks, at 2.49 times higher than expectations; and ship and boat captains and operators, at 2.25 times higher than expectations.
Four of the five most common jobs, meanwhile, are related to tourism in at least some way; the fifth most common occupation — nursing — is from another big sector in Florida: health care. The highest paid jobs held by Floridians also show few surprises, with physicians, surgeons, dentists and airline pilots in the top five. Also in the top five highest paid list? CEOs and legislators — a somewhat curious pairing of the private and public sectors.
Overall, according to the data, employment in Florida grew at a rate of 2.99% from 2016 to 2017, from 8.76 million employees to 9.02 million employees.