According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metropolitan statistical area (MSA) continued its trajectory as the fastest growing labor market in the nation in 2018.
Reports show that Orlando MSA has created 41,800 jobs from December 2017 to December 2018, achieving a rate of growth of 3.3%.
Compared to high-growth metropolises with more than a million jobs, including Phoenix, Houston, Austin and Las Vegas, Orlando stands out as the fastest growing metropolis in the country continuing the trend that started in 2015.
Florida's year-over-year job growth rate has surpassed the nation's rate since May 2012. The State of Florida gained a total of 213,600 jobs, an increase of 2.5% over the same period. Nationally, the number of jobs increased by 2.0% over the year.
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Job Growth in Orlando
Contrary to popular belief, last year's job growth did not originate solely from the Orlando region's tourism sector; in fact, the strongest growth occurred out of the leisure and hospitality areas. Professional and business services accounted for a combined growth of 39%, adding 16,400 jobs of the total created from December 2017-18. The construction sector followed closely behind, with 18% of the total growth, adding 7,400 jobs, and Leisure and Hospitality contributed 14%or 5,700, from job creation year after year.
For Florida as a whole, one of the sector categories that added the most jobs was education and health services (+40,100 jobs, +3.1%). This data parallels a similar finding detailed in the 2030 report, with research conducted by the Orlando Foundation for the Future, in which healthcare is predicted to be the fastest growing industry in the next decade.
The region of Orlando is among the 15 best big cities for employmentaccording to Forbes. Forbes cited Orlando's growth in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs in recent years as a contributing factor, explaining that "Orlando is currently creating STEM jobs at a faster rate than Bay Area metropolises.
In a separate study, Forbes calculated the growth rate of STEM jobs in Orlando as the highest in the country. In addition, Emsi ranked Orlando third among the top MSAs in STEM job growth over the past five years.
Orlando is the largest U.S. metropolis in terms of working-age population growth (18 to 64 years old).
Orlando not only leads the nation in job growth. It is also the largest in population growth.
From 2016 to 2017, the four-county region that makes up the Orlando MSA - Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole County - grew by 2.3% to reach a population of just over 2.5 million people. This growth rate is more than double the national growth rate and the highest of the 30 largest cities in America.
For comparison, two of the other fastest growing American cities, Atlanta and Denver, grew 1.5% and 1.3%, respectively. Following at number 2 and 3 were Las Vegas with 2.2% and Dallas with 2.0%.
It is clear that the Orlando area is growing both in terms of population and employment. Anyone who thinks that Orlando is the "happiest place on earth" simply because of its attractions doesn't know the half of it.
Source: Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Current Employment Statistics (CES) - Updated January 2019
Orlando News by Justin Braun
Note: Employment estimates have been rounded to the nearest hundred. The sum of details may not equal totals due to rounding or the exclusion of certain industries from publication. All data is subject to revision due to late reporting by participants.
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