Excerpt from Forbes.com October 19, 2016 (Link to original article at bottom.)
Employment gains have slowed in 2016, which is a trend that is expected to continue over the next couple of years. But there are pockets of the U.S. that will experience out-sized growth over that time with Florida leading the way. The Sunshine State is home to five of the 10 metro areas projected to add the most jobs through 2018, according to forecasts from Moody’s Analytics. “Florida is well known to be boom-bust, and right now it is in a multi-year upsurge,” says Edward Friedman, an economist who tracks Florida for Moody’s Analytics.
Leading the way is the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro area on the Gulf Coast of Mexico. It is expected to add jobs at a 3.9% annual rate compared to 1.8% for the national average. Much of the expected gains are centered around hospitality and real estate jobs. Cape Coral has had the second highest rate of net migration in the country over the past five years as retirees and job seekers head south. Fort Myers gets a boost each February and March as the spring training home of the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins.
Other Florida spots joining Cape Coral in the top 10 include: No. 3 Orlando (3.6%), No. 4 Naples (3.6%), No. 7 Deltona (3.1%) and No. 9 Ocala (3%). “The structural advantages that Florida enjoys—low costs of living and doing business, warm climate, and leisure time amenities like beaches and attractions like Disney World in Orlando—will propel the above-average gains,” says Friedman.