Florida Chamber issues progress report on 2030 goals

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The state is trending in the right direction, but some areas could use extra attention.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce has released a new report outlining the state’s progress toward the organization’s chief goal over the past five years: growing Florida into a Top 10 global economy.

According to the 2023 Florida Business & Economic Mid-Year Report, the Sunshine State ranks as the No. 16 economy in the world if measured as an independent country — nestled between Mexico and Indonesia in the current global pecking order.

While the Chamber says the state has plenty of work to do over next seven years to achieve the goals outlined in the Florida 2030 Blueprint, the report notes several positive trends. One of the most striking: income flow.

According to the Chamber’s research, Florida is the No. 1 state in the country for income migration, with $39.2 billion in wealth flowing into the state over the past year — the equivalent to $4.48 million per hour. Texas is a distant No. 2 at $10.9 billion.

Global connections also are on the rise, with seaports posting a new record in Florida-origin exports last year at $67.5 billion.

Florida’s higher education system continues to hold the top spot nationally though there has been a shift in post-secondary achievement — since 2016, the number of Floridians earning vocational certificates has grown by 28%.

“This growth is rapid in comparison to a growth of just under 7% for those earning Associate’s degrees,” the Chamber report says. “Florida businesses are in a new hiring landscape, where career and technical education skills seem to be rising as a top priority.”

Still, K-12 education is an area of concern. Florida’s third grade reading scores — a key predictor of future success — currently stand at 53% and are decreasing, far below the goal of 100%. Additionally, 87% of Florida students finish high school with a diploma, which is eight points lower than the Chamber’s 2030 goal.

That has led to a significant amount of “untapped potential,” the report states, with about one in eight Floridians between the ages of 16 and 24 neither working nor enrolled in school. The Chamber is encouraging businesses to reach out to youths in this demographic through partnerships with the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice and Florida Department of Corrections.

“This population of students should be considered ‘opportunity youth.’ There is an opportunity for the business community to develop talent within this population through skills training and assistance in higher education,” the report says.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


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