Economic Forecast: “Jacksonville’s recovery is on the fast track” | Jax Daily Record | Jacksonville Daily Record


It took 19 months, but employment at companies in the Jacksonville area finally returned to pre-pandemic levels in September.

While COVID-19 remains a threat to the economy, the outlook for 2022 is brighter for Northeast Florida.

“Jacksonville’s recovery is on the fast track,” said Abbey Omodunbi, senior economist at PNC Bank.

“Non-farm payroll employment is just over 1% above pre-crisis level compared to Florida, which is 1.9% below, and the United States, which is below 2.8%, “he said.

Employers in metro Jacksonville, in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties, declared 741,000 non-farm jobs on their payrolls in October, up from a pre-pandemic peak of 732,000 in February 2020.

The business sector hardest hit by the pandemic, leisure and hospitality, has still not caught up. October jobs are 7,900 below the February 2020 level of 86,100.

However, a few key industries for the region are growing.

Financial activities businesses had 4,500 more jobs in October than in February 2020, and construction was 5,300 more.

Strong housing demand is expected to continue to drive growth in the construction industry.

The median price of single-family homes in Northeast Florida was $ 339,000 in October, an 18.9% increase from October 2020, according to the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors.

“The historic market we saw earlier this year, with double-digit bids on almost all sales and over 100% of homes receiving bids of at least asking price or above, has calmed down a bit. , more because of buyer fatigue and increase. award, ”NEFAR President Missi Howell said in a press release.

“However, we are far from seeing this market stop. In October, we had barely a month of inventory available for buyers, and this challenge does not seem to have any hope of abating, ”she said.

The growth of the construction industry could be constrained by supply chain disruptions and other issues, Omodunbi said. This should continue to push up home prices.

“The imbalance between supply and demand will continue until 2022 and it will be a seller’s market for the next two years,” he said.

However, Omodunbi expects supply chain issues to ease for other consumer spending.

“Consumer spending, which accounts for over two-thirds of US economic activity, will propel the US economy through the remainder of this year and into 2022,” he said.

Omodunbi expects Jacksonville’s economy to continue to grow.

“Jacksonville’s diverse economic base places it in an excellent position to be a strong player over the next year or so,” he said.

“Plus, strong population growth will support the economy in the long run.”

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