Saturday, January 7, 2012
With the New Year in full swing, many Floridians are curious to see where the economy will head this year. According to recent national data, unemployment had finally dipped to 8.5%, while nonfarm payroll employment rose in December 2011. The labor department also recorded significant increases in transportation, retail trade, and health care jobs to name a few. Construction employment also saw an increase, which will help offset the two previous months, and give us a positive outlook on new real estate. Generally speaking, fewer Americans are jobless which strengthens the economy as a whole.
Florida closed out 2011 in good fashion as far as the unemployment rate goes. The last two months reported the second sharpest decline (2.1%) of unemployment in the country, only falling behind New Mexico. Tampa, Miami, and Jacksonville will to have to carry the state through 2012 if we are going to see the unemployment rate drop, and stay, below 8%.
Tourism and travel could also lend a helping hand in rebounding Florida’s economy. With talks of moving the Tampa Bay Rays to Hillsborough County, and building a new casino resort in Cape Coral, we can only hope that this will stimulate jobs, spending, and the desire for real estate here on the gulf coast. As far as travel is concerned, Joe Lopano, CEO of Tampa International Airport, predicts an increase of 13.6% in international traffic. With more money being designated for marketing campaigns that reach out to South American countries like Brazil, and places in the Caribbean, high expectations are set for attracting an international crowd to the Tampa Bay area.
Some predictions are even estimating a 50% rise in home building permits for 2012. The fact that supply and demand are not as far apart as they have been the last five years, could set the stage for a great year in home building. Naples, Tampa Bay, and other neighboring gulf coast areas should feel the first wave of this optimistic increase.
A sign of good things: unemployment rates are down, plans are in place to attract a diverse crowd to the gulf coast and Tampa Bay area, and promising initiatives are set for a great year in new construction and home building. Someone should tell the Mayans to add these events to their calendar!