Florida’s economy is expected to be strong through 2018, according to a new report from Malena Carollo at The Tampa Bay Times. The report focuses on the state unemployment rate to forecast the health of the economy.
The Sunshine State has a bright future thanks to some of the lowest unemployment rates over the last decade, overall falling below the national unemployment rate of 4.1 percent. More and more people are joining the workforce, finding positions, and staying in those jobs than ever before. There was a 3.7% jobless rate in December for the entire state of Florida, with the following standouts:
- Tampa Bay: 3.4%
- Hillsborough: 3.3%
- Hernando: 4.5%
- Pinellas: 3.2%
- Pasco: 3.8%
- Citrus: 5.4%
2017 unemployment numbers improved compared to 2016 on almost all levels, making economists and local business owners more positive about 2018 and beyond. It is also important to note that there was some lag in wage growth – there weren’t any decreases, but wages haven’t grown as much as employment.
This is great news for Floridians, and everyone who wants to move to Florida – the job market is stable and healthy. More people in Florida have jobs, are finding jobs, and are happy with their careers.
This bodes well for all industries, including real estate, retail, restaurants, and tourism. In response to that optimism, the state added 213,500 jobs in 2017, which includes 27,400 in December. The greatest growth was in the professional and business services, which saw 47,200 jobs. These are the types of jobs that encourage people to put down long-term roots while raising a family. Perhaps in response to that, construction saw an increase of 43,900 jobs, a 9.1% bump over 2016. This is likely in response to the need for housing and more entertainment options.
Economy Strength Equals Housing Market Strength
Employment typically means good things for the housing market, and this instance is no different. The housing market strengthened in 2017 as well, falling in line with pre-recession figures. In some instances, it is like the housing bubble never burst.
Economists believe the positive trends will continue, at least for the foreseeable future.
“I’d expect to see strong growth in 2018 as consumer spending remains solid and households benefit from the tax cuts. (That could) lead more people to take vacations in Florida,” said Gus Faucher, the chief economist at PNC to the Tampa Bay Times. He expects it to bottom out at around 3.5%, because it is already so low
One thing that we absolutely must pay attention to is the stock market. For all sectors of the market, a blow to the stock market could cause problems. Retirees depend heavily upon stock market gains, so as long as everything continues to go well with the market, it will be another great reason for people to move to Florida and buy homes – their retirement accounts will be booming, and they won’t have to fear running out of money.
Marimark Mortgage is based in Tampa, Florida, and serves the mortgage needs of Floridians, and people moving to the Sunshine State.
We offer our clients rigorous mortgage pre-approvals, low interest rates, and fast closings. We specialize in conventional home mortgages, FHA, VA and USDA mortgage options, refinance loans, and reverse mortgages. We’ve worked extensively with cash-out refinancing, and help clients with HARP refinancing to lower their monthly mortgage payments.