Expanding Florida's High-Tech Manufacturing Sector
As a state, Florida is home to one of the nation’s strongest economies. With a Gross State Product of nearly $911 billion in 2016, the state’s economic success has helped Florida become one of the best places in the nation to work and live. However, some questions remain on whether or not Florida is properly situated to compete in an ever-changing global economy. Currently, Florida’s economy relies heavily on the tourism, real estate development, and financial industries; and while these sectors are vitally important to the state’s economy, Florida should also look to invest in sectors that have significant growth potential. One sector that could benefit from state investment and has been touted in the past by government officials is manufacturing.
In 2015, Florida was home to more than 12,100 manufacturers that employed approximately 335,700 individuals. While these numbers sound impressive on the surface, manufacturing jobs only account for 4.2 percent of non-farm employment in the state, placing Florida at the 7th lowest percentage in the nation. When it comes to the southeast, Florida ranks last in terms of manufacturing as a percentage of total employment.