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Business Observer Monday, Apr. 13, 2020 2 years ago

Government agency payrolls — pre-pandemic — were on growth track

School boards, by far, are the biggest employers in many Florida counties.

Government entities make up a large share of the workforce in nearly every Florida county, according to a new report — larger than it was in 2012, the last time Florida TaxWatch did a similar report.

The report from the nonpartisan, nonprofit group analyzed the top 10 employers in each county and took out private entities. Public entities fall under four levels: federal, state, county and municipal. Of the 670 entities statewide — 10 for each county — 280 are public and 390 are private.

But the government figures are top-heavy. A single government entity is the largest employer in the county in 61 of Florida’s 67 counties, the report shows. In addition, at least one government entity is among the top five largest employers in every county and least two public employers are in the top 10. Counties with the smallest public entity presence have shifted upward, and school districts, on average, are more uniform and present across the state as one of the top entities. “It is evident that the government plays an all-encompassing, direct role in local economies through employment and payroll as well as indirect effects such as regulation,” the report states.

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