Record Budget Surplus as Florida’s Economy Continues to Outperform the Nation
Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Florida continues to outperform the nation in economic success. Due to Florida’s strong economy, the state has been able to make record investments in education, infrastructure, and other programs while increasing our State Reserves. Florida’s reserves will close out at more than $20 billion for this fiscal year and Florida’s revenues have exceeded pre-pandemic estimates by more than $8 billion. No money from the Federal Government is included in Florida’s record $20 billion reserves.
Florida employers have added jobs for 24 consecutive months and the state unemployment rate has remained below the national rate for 17 consecutive months. Florida’s April 2022 unemployment rate was 3.0 percent, down 0.2 percent from the previous month and lower than the national rate of 3.6 percent. In April 2022, Florida’s labor force grew by 3.0 percent (309,000) over the year. Florida’s private sector employment continues to show strong and steady growth, with a growth rate of 0.7 percent, more than double the national rate of 0.3 percent.
“By keeping our economy open, maintaining a low tax environment, and being fiscally responsible, Florida’s budget reserves have never been stronger,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “While Washington, D.C., has consistently gotten things wrong, Florida has consistently done things right.”
“Thanks to Governor DeSantis’ leadership, our state continues to outpace the nation in labor force growth,” said DEO Secretary Dane Eagle. “DEO is proud to support the Governor’s mission by offering unique and innovative workforce development opportunities that bolster our competitive industries.”
“We opened a restaurant location one week before the shutdown, we pivoted, did take out and did everything to stay alive. Our rebound has been absolutely astronomical. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to the Governor,” said Curtis Peery, Owner, Voodoo Bayou and Calavaras Cantina. “It was a bold move on the Governor’s part and I think that is what leadership is all about. Without you, we would not have anything.”
“We want to say thank you to the Governor because without him we would go nowhere,” said Nelson Colon, Line Chef, True Grit Hospitality. “If you want to work, come to Florida, this is the place.”
“I was injured for a long time, was trying to get back to work, and the state gave me $5,000 to go to truck driving school,” said Kirk Corwin, Driver, Walpole, Inc. “I was able to get a job, pay off all of my bills and now I have savings and more money now than I have had over the last 7 years. Thank you, Governor.”
The Governor also highlighted Florida’s record-breaking tourism data that showed Florida had 36 million visitors between January and March of this year. This is a 14 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2021, and it is the third consecutive quarter that Florida has surpassed pre-pandemic levels. Additionally, in 2021, Florida expanded its market share of overseas travelers to 44.6 percent of the nation’s total. This is the highest market share of overseas travelers that any state has ever achieved and is more than 20 percentage points higher than second place New York which had 22.3 percent of the market share. It also is more than 10 percentage points higher than the previous record of 34.1 percent, which was held by New York.
The Governor made these announcements while visiting Retro Fitness in West Palm Beach. Retro Fitness moved to West Palm Beach from New York and New Jersey in order to continue operating and opening gyms in the face of unprecedented lockdowns during the pandemic. Retro Fitness’ gyms in Florida have outperformed their gyms anywhere else in the country and the company plans to open 100 more locations across the state.
The West Palm Beach Region has had great economic gains, surpassing pre-pandemic economic levels. West Palm Beach has added 35,000 new jobs over the year and in April had an unemployment rate of 2.3 percent. The region has also added 29,000 to their workforce over the year.