Metro JAX’ 5-county employment has added some 24,900 jobs in the 12 months’ ended in August 2016. That’s a 3.8% growth ranks 3rd amongst its peers in the Southeast, just behind Savannah at 4.0% and still well behind Orlando at 4.4%, but well ahead of Tampa, Atlanta, Charlotte, Charleston, and Miami – and substantially better than the nation at about 2.0%. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, every employment category had gains in JAX except one (Information, which lost 400 jobs or down 4.3%); increases were widely dispersed, with the biggest gains being in Construction (+12.1%), Leisure/Hospitality (+5.9%) and Education and Health Services (+5.2%).
The US. Bureau of Labor Statistics had April 2016 total non-farm employment in the JAX area at 668,200, that’s 22,800 more than April 2015, or a 3.5% increase, that’s DOUBLE the rate of increase for the nation, as shown below. The areas of the strongest growth – Leisure and Hospitality (+7.9%), Construction (+6.6%), and Education and Health Services (+5.1%). The only area showing a loss was Information (-1.1%).
According to the U.S. Department of Labor and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Florida led the nation in job creation in January, with other 36,000 private jobs. In terms of total jobs, government and private, the state added a net of 32,200 new jobs in January, the highest gain in any month since April 2011. The biggest winners in the state – construction, professional and business services, and then leisure and hospitality. The state’s payrolls gained 3.4%, and Jacksonville was second best, at +4.5%, behind only Orlando at +4.9%, as shown below. Over the past year, Florida non-farm employment added a net of 269,200 jobs with every major industry category posting gains. The state’s unemployment rate is at 5.0%, and would be dramatically less but for Florida’s civilian labor force grew at more than twice that of the nation over the past year.
Chart courtesy of Wells Fargo Securities, LLC
Below is a simple graph of the percent changes in employment in JAX and the U.S. – and JAX is out consistently out-performing the nation. And the results in the table suggest a strong (and sustainable) 2.6% job growth over the past 12 months, now at 650,200 jobs in the region, 102.2% of the prior peak of 2006. The biggest gainers over the past year – Leisure and Hospitality (+6.2%), Education and Health Services (+5.2%) and +3.2% for Trade, Transportation and Utilities. The only loser – Information Services, down 3.3%, but also the smallest employer in the region at less than 9k total jobs. Overall, the JAX economy created some 16,300 jobs in the past year, up 2.6%. Courtesy of US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Roger Bull writes for The Florida Times-Union about Rayonier Advanced Materials plans to expand its Fernandina Beach facility at a cost of $110M to create a by-product of a its processing of wood fibers into a fuel for commercial applications. They’ll be seeking incentives from state and local agencies as part of their investment.
In a brief article from Drew Dixon at The Florida Times-Union, Forbes Magazine came out with its annual rankings on the best cities to FIND a job, and JAX came in at #5. The top 4 were Austin, Grand Rapids, Nashville and Charlotte.
Brian Moynihan, Chairman and CEO of Bank of America, was the keynote speaker at the JAXUSA Partnership economic development division meeting this week and says the bank’s 8,500 jobs in JAX are “critically important” to the bank. No earth-shattering news here, just that the bank shared their local job numbers which it has been reluctant to do in the past. Moynihan cited JAX’ good educational system, training, and quality of life and mentioned that BofA was bringing back 5,000 jobs from outside the U.S. and Jax is a “beneficiary of that”. Karen Brune Mathis of The JAX Daily Record has the article.
The local economy continues to steam along and the unemployment rate dipped to 5.68%, lower than the state’s (6.1%) and the nation (5.9%). Some 8,000 jobs were created in the region in September, 5,000 of which were in Duval County alone. And it is not just “statistics” – the labor force increased, the number of employed increased, and the number unemployed fell… Drew Dixon of The Florida Times-Union has the story.
Development of the JEA site on the Southbank could spur development that the staff of the JTA says could be home to up to 3,500 jobs. The JAX Daily Record has the article.
Apex Technology, a structural engineering services company, located off of Hodges Blvd., plans to build a new 15,000 SF headquarters building “near the Beaches” and hire about 60 more employees, mostly engineers and technicians with an average pay of about $57k/year. Roger Bull of The Florida Times-Union has the story.