The Central Florida economies have been experiencing sustained growth in both population and employment for the last several years. In early 2014, the region became the first in the state to regain all jobs lost during the recession.
Between Orlando and Tampa, the population in each metropolitan has grown by approximately 300,000 people over the last 5 years. Each area’s growth is forecasted to continue to increase between 300,000-400,000 over the next 5 years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Orlando has led the country with job growth from 2015 – 2018 at 4.8% as compared to the average in the U.S. of only 1.9%. Employment growth is expected to average at 2.0% well through 2023 according to Moody’s Analytics. Tampa has had the second-highest job growth in the State at 2.7%.
The current unemployment rate for both metros continues to outpace the State at between 2.7% and 3.3%.
The labor force in both metros continues to diversify. For Orlando, technology is now the second-largest industry. For Tampa, the second largest industry is financial services.
There are many infrastructure improvements underway, including the $2.3 billion I-4 Ultimate Improvement Project and Orlando International Airport’s recently-increased $4.27 billion capital improvement project.
Construction on the airport’s Intermodal Terminal Facility project which includes an Automated People Mover, the south terminal, and an additional 16 gates is well underway. This project is anticipated to be completed in 2020.
Additionally, the Central Florida Expressway Authority recently announced the largest plan in its history, which is expected to create over 11,000 jobs by 2022. The $1.6 billion work plan will widen existing roads, resurface and improve highway lighting and complete portions of the I-4 Ultimate.
In total, there are $7.2 billion of infrastructure projects currently underway.