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August 20, 2002
Florida Touts Job Growth
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Despite the national economic downturn, Florida continued to create more jobs than any other state in the nation and was one of only 16 states to post positive job growth from July 2001 to June 2002, according to a report presented last week to the Board of Directors of Enterprise Florida, the state's economic development organization.

According to the report, the nation as a whole posted a net loss of more than 1 million jobs between July 2001 to June 2002 compared with the previous fiscal year.

While Florida's job growth also slowed dramatically, down nearly 89 percent, the state still came out in the black, adding 25,500 net new, non-agricultural jobs.

"This data becomes even more meaningful when we compare Florida's employment growth to that of the nation's other most populous states, states we consider to be our chief competitors," said newly elected EFI President and CEO Darrell Kelley.

California, whose economy is nearly three times the size of Florida's, gained only 19,000 jobs while Texas, New York and Illinois each experienced a net loss of more than 50,000 jobs.

Kelley also noted that during this fiscal year, EFI assisted in the creation of 26,171 direct jobs and exceeded its job creation goals for rural and urban core areas and critical industries, such as biomedical technology, aviation/aerospace and information technology. The jobs EFI helped create using state incentives, about 75 percent of the jobs it helped create last year, paid an average of $40,000 a year, or about 30 percent higher than Florida's average annual wage and 13 percent above the annual wage for the entire United States.

EFI works closely with a statewide network of economic development partners and is funded both by the State of Florida and by private-sector businesses.

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