The Sunshine State’s economy has seen its fair share of storm clouds in recent years, with the Great Recession taking a significant toll on both the housing market and tourism industry. And it took another huge hit in 2017, as hurricane Irma cost the state 1.8 million out-of-state visitors. But things are looking brighter of late, despite the natural disaster’s impact.
But not everywhere in Florida provides the same employment opportunities. In order to help Floridians make all the right moves, WalletHub compared 135 Florida cities based on 16 metrics that collectively speak to the employment environment that can be found in each. We considered factors ranging from the number job openings per unemployed resident and the average starting salary to the share of employers providing benefits and the length of the average work day.
Best Places for Jobs in Florida
|Overall Rank(1=Best)||City||Overall Score||‘Job Market’ Rank||‘Socioeconomic Environment’ Rank|
|3||Land O' Lakes, FL||62.76||6||31|
|4||Wesley Chapel, FL||62.74||9||29|
|5||Horizon West, FL||61.93||14||14|
|6||Boca Raton, FL||61.70||23||6|
|7||Palm Harbor, FL||61.54||2||75|
|9||Miami Lakes, FL||61.23||21||12|
|11||West Melbourne, FL||60.25||17||30|
|14||Royal Palm Beach, FL||59.67||26||16|
|16||Four Corners, FL||59.42||8||88|
|18||Jacksonville Beach, FL||58.94||12||56|
|19||Coral Gables, FL||58.59||43||11|
|26||Palmetto Bay, FL||57.60||91||3|
|30||Palm Beach Gardens, FL||56.69||61||13|
|32||Panama City, FL||56.38||15||113|
|36||Port Orange, FL||56.00||42||35|
|37||Fort Myers, FL||55.90||16||118|
|38||Hialeah Gardens, FL||55.87||28||61|
|39||Cooper City, FL||55.85||101||2|
|41||Palm City, FL||55.82||35||53|
|44||Fort Walton Beach, FL||55.49||27||69|
|46||Coconut Creek, FL||55.41||64||25|
|48||Fort Lauderdale, FL||55.36||39||57|
|51||Pembroke Pines, FL||55.19||69||19|
|53||Plant City, FL||55.06||24||100|
|54||Winter Park, FL||54.81||60||37|
|55||Fleming Island, FL||54.80||82||18|
|56||Pinellas Park, FL||54.76||31||95|
|57||Winter Garden, FL||54.74||51||52|
|58||St. Petersburg, FL||54.73||49||58|
|59||Coral Springs, FL||54.55||85||15|
|60||Cutler Bay, FL||54.48||74||27|
|63||Altamonte Springs, FL||54.40||48||67|
|64||Sunny Isles Beach, FL||54.32||52||46|
|71||Miami Beach, FL||53.07||32||117|
|73||Winter Springs, FL||52.86||93||28|
|74||Delray Beach, FL||52.55||73||62|
|75||Temple Terrace, FL||52.53||81||47|
|77||Ives Estates, FL||52.21||120||9|
|79||Deerfield Beach, FL||52.03||71||73|
|82||New Smyrna Beach, FL||51.52||80||72|
|83||North Port, FL||51.28||94||51|
|85||West Palm Beach, FL||51.14||77||82|
|86||The Villages, FL||50.92||100||44|
|87||Palm Springs, FL||50.54||37||120|
|89||St. Cloud, FL||50.47||107||42|
|90||Oakland Park, FL||50.01||83||96|
|92||Lehigh Acres, FL||49.68||38||129|
|93||Palm Bay, FL||49.62||98||77|
|94||North Lauderdale, FL||49.54||97||80|
|96||Palm Coast, FL||49.29||88||106|
|97||West Pensacola, FL||49.27||72||119|
|98||Boynton Beach, FL||49.15||102||78|
|100||Ormond Beach, FL||48.96||115||60|
|102||Daytona Beach, FL||48.70||59||130|
|104||Bonita Springs, FL||48.59||105||90|
|105||Cape Coral, FL||48.35||122||41|
|107||Winter Haven, FL||48.11||99||101|
|108||Merritt Island, FL||47.88||111||89|
|112||Pompano Beach, FL||46.78||112||105|
|113||Port St. Lucie, FL||46.42||129||38|
|114||North Miami Beach, FL||46.39||118||104|
|115||Spring Hill, FL||46.22||113||108|
|118||Haines City, FL||45.84||89||127|
|120||Port Charlotte, FL||45.66||96||128|
|121||Riviera Beach, FL||45.60||110||124|
|122||Tarpon Springs, FL||45.52||126||86|
|123||Key West, FL||45.23||132||48|
|124||North Miami, FL||44.72||124||109|
|127||Hallandale Beach, FL||44.46||109||133|
|128||Lake Worth, FL||44.22||104||132|
|131||Miami Gardens, FL||43.30||128||103|
|132||Lauderdale Lakes, FL||41.31||130||126|
|133||North Fort Myers, FL||41.27||131||121|
|134||Dania Beach, FL||41.08||133||112|
|135||Fort Pierce, FL||36.84||135||135|
Ask the Experts
In search of additional insights into the Florida job scene, we posed the following questions to a panel of leading experts in the fields of human resources, economics and more. You can check out their bios and responses below.
- Will the IT industry still play a major role in Florida’s economy in the coming decades? What other fields are expected to grow the most in the near future?
- Which are the biggest challenges faced by Florida’s job seekers today?
- Looking just within Florida, what are the most common mistakes that job seekers make?
- What types of programs have proven effective in helping unemployed persons to find work in Florida?
- Should benefits be extended in Florida for unemployed people who have been out of work for a long period?
- Should unemployed people from Florida that receive help from state and local administration be required to do something in order to earn their unemployment benefits? If so, what?
Ask the Experts
WalletHub compared 135 Florida cities using 16 relevant metrics that speak to two key factors important to job seekers: the local “Job Market” and the area’s “Socioeconomic Environment.” Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with the weighted-sum of each city’s individual-metric scores comprising its overall score, which we used for the final rankings. You can find a complete list of the metrics we used, along with their corresponding weights, below.
The cities in our sample were selected based on population size and the availability of reliable data. Furthermore, we considered the city proper in each case, excluding surrounding metro areas from our analysis.
Job Market - Total Points: 67
- Job Opportunities: Double Weight (~14.89 Points)
Note: This metric was calculated as follows: Number of Job Openings per Number of Population in Labor Force Minus Unemployment Rate.
- Employment Growth: Full Weight (~7.44 Points)
Note: This metric measures the rate of annual job growth adjusted by the working-age population growth.
- Monthly Average Starting Salary: Full Weight (~7.44 Points)
Note: This metric was adjusted for the cost of living.
- Unemployment Rate for High School Graduates: Full Weight (~7.44 Points)
- Unemployment Rate for Residents with a Bachelor's Degree or Higher: Full Weight (~7.44 Points)
- Industry Variety: Full Weight (~7.44 Points)
- Full-Time Employment: Half Weight (~3.72 Points)
Note: This metric measures the number of part-time employees for every 100 full-time employees.
- Share of Workers in Poverty: Full Weight (~7.44 Points)
Note: This metric measures the percentage of employed residents whose incomes are below the poverty line.
- Disability-Friendliness of Employers: Half Weight (~3.72 Points)
Note: This metric measures the percentage of persons with disabilities who are employed.
Socioeconomic Environment - Total Points: 33
- Median Annual Income: Full Weight (~5.50 Points)
Note: This metric was adjusted for the cost of living.
- Average Work & Commute Time: Half Weight (~2.75 Points)
Note: This metric measures the average length of a workday and the average commute time.
- Access to Employee Benefits: Half Weight (~2.75 Points)
Note: This metric measures the share of employees with private health insurance.
- Housing Costs: Full Weight (~5.50 Points)
Note: This composite metric comprises the following calculations: Median Home Price / Median Annual Household Income and Median Rent Price / Median Annual Household Income.
- Annual Transportation Costs: Full Weight (~5.50 Points)
Note: This metric was adjusted for the median household income.
- Safety: Full Weight (~5.50 Points)
Note: This metric measures the crime rate.
- Social Life: Full Weight (~5.50 Points)
Note: This metric comprises the number of cafés per square root of population plus number of nightlife options per square root of population.
Sources: Data used to create these rankings were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Council for Community and Economic Research, Indeed and Yelp.