Between gas prices and the housing market crisis many industries through out Florida are suffering. Despite these issues, the state’s agriculture, natural resource, food and fiber product manufacturing, distribution and related service industries are thriving.
According to Alan Hodges, an agricultural economist and lead author of the study that discovered this data, says that this sector generates the second largest number of Florida jobs. Only professional and technical services industry is creating more jobs statewide. Agricultural and associated services are followed by real estate and financial services, construction, education, and travel and entertainment.
The study conducted by the University of Florida found that the $101.9 billion annual value-added impact of the agriculture and related industries is larger than ever. Economist with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) believe that this sector will continue to play as important of a part in Florida’s economy for the 21st century as they always have.
Hodges says that “when industries such as construction, travel and entertainment are affected by an economic downturn, agriculture, natural resource and related industries continue to be more stable components of the state’s economy.”
Agriculture and related industries currently provide jobs in Florida, both fulltime and part-time, for 1.5 million people. This figure represents 14.2 percent of all jobs in the state. According to the study these industries also generated labor income impacts of $65 billion and indirect taxes paid to local, state and federal governments amount to $11.4 billion.