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Web-based business provide Florida a big boost

Internet-based jobs are a big deal in Florida, particularly for exports.

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  • | 6:00 a.m. February 1, 2019
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Buying and selling stuff and services over the internet is obviously a behemoth industry — but just how big is it in Florida?

Pretty big.

That’s a key takeaway from a new report from the Internet Association, a trade group that speaks for many web-based leaders, from Amazon to Zillow. In a new report, what the IA calls the first-of-its-kind to show a state-by-state tally of jobs supported by digital service exports, Florida is a national leader. Economists at the U.S. Economic Statistics Administration, according to the IA report, define digital service exports “as services that can be delivered almost instantaneously online at a relatively small cost.”

On a national basis, the report shows, U.S.-based companies produce some 1.5 million digital service exports jobs over $470 billion in goods a year, in multiple sectors of the economy. “Digital trade is how small mom-and-pop shops in Florida and across America are able to become global exporters with the click of a button,” IA Chief Economist Christopher Hooton says in a statement.

The report also points out a majority of the country’s digital service exports jobs, 60%, aren’t in the internet industry. Instead those positions are in connected sectors, like agriculture, manufacturing and retail. “The internet,” Hooton says in the statement, “connects businesses in all sectors with new customers and better marketing data.”

Florida-centric nuggets from the report include:

• The state is fourth nationwide, behind California, Texas and New York, and ahead of Washington state, in producing digital trade jobs.

• Digital trade and digital trade-enabled businesses in Florida contribute more than $21 billion in exports annually.

• Digital trade and digital trade-enabled businesses in Florida add more than 74,000 jobs to the economy annually.




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