Florida is a beautiful state with many unique job possibilities. However, the job market in this state is confusing. On the surface, the 3.2% unemployment rate is among the best in the nation. But a deeper look reveals a more complex situation. Taking a thorough analysis of the job market in this state will help job-seekers understand what will work best for their needs.
A Complex Job Market
In a recent jobs poll, Florida (which has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation) had only a “good” jobs score of 40.4%, which places it near the bottom of the nation. Experts suggest residents might be either working for themselves or not working full time. A lower job score shows that people in the area are not getting full-time work or might be working less than 30 hours per week.
These self-employed individuals may be starting small businesses throughout the state, which is a complex facet in and of itself. Bigger businesses are bringing on employees at nearly double the rate of smaller companies, which is a concern in the Sunshine State’s market. So many businesses here operate on a smaller level or are self-run companies targeted at the tourist industry.
Sectors Doing Well in Florida in 2022
Historically, Florida thrives in a few different markets: agriculture, cigar making, forestry, tourism, and technology. The last market is primarily because of NASA’s presence, as this state is otherwise heavily invested in tech jobs. Tourism has become, by far, the largest market in the state, though healthcare has also become important due to the abundance of retirees in the area.
Again, though, this heavy influx of healthcare businesses could indicate a rather small business sector. After all, 80% of the 322,488 clinical laboratories in the nation operate as small businesses. With many of these labs spread throughout the state, there could be a lot of healthcare job opportunities. However, it again indicates smaller companies that may have limited job roles available.
Interestingly, there is also a heavy growth in labor-based markets, including citrus fields, fruit processing, carpentry, plumbing, city planning, electrical contracting, and architecture. The more labor-intensive jobs may be a good entry-level option for many people.
Other Sectors Worth Exploring
While the above job opportunities may work well for many people, there are several unique markets that may increase in the future. For example, information technology companies have moved to the state from California after getting hit by higher taxes. Florida’s friendlier business taxes have inspired these small businesses to move to the area.
The same is true of manufacturing, as 19,000 new manufacturing businesses opened up in the state in recent years. While this influx of smaller businesses is great news (and explains both the low unemployment rate and jobs score), they come at a price. For example, 40% of all small business owners have no insurance, while 75% of businesses are underinsured.
This fact is a real problem in the face of COVID-19. Few states have been hit as hard by this pandemic as Florida, with officials taking a fairly hands-off approach. That’s a major problem for small businesses because, with minimal insurance coverage and resources, they may get hit hard if their employees miss work or struggle to complete their duties because of illness.
As a result, it is important for anybody interested in working in Florida to carefully examine their possibilities to find out if it is right for their needs. While small businesses can be a great place to work (especially in a startup environment), it may also create a somewhat unstable experience that may make it hard to stay gainfully employed. Consider your options as you review the Florida job market and look for a job to jumpstart your career.