Florida’s rising unemployment shines a light on the US state’s need to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI), a significant contributor to job creation.
In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, Florida’s unemployment rate rose to 11.3% in July 2020, up 1% from June 2020 and 8.2% on the previous year, according to the US Department of Labor. This compares with a national unemployment rate of 10.2% for July 2020 and represents the second-highest number of new unemployment claims in the country, for the week ending 15 August 2020.
Data from the US Bureau for Economic Analysis shows that Florida’s job creation from inward investment is the fourth-largest in the US at 368,100 jobs in 2017. The number of employees at majority-owned foreign entities in Florida grew by 135,200 (58.1%) from 2010–2017. European companies accounted for the largest share at 58% of all FDI employment in Florida.
Florida’s Chamber of Commerce estimates that one in five of the state’s jobs depends on inward investment. However, according to fDi Intelligence’s 2020 fDi Report, Florida had 84 greenfield FDI projects in 2019, which represented a 5% decline on the previous year’s total. At the same time, the report found that FDI projects across North America increased by 14% in 2019.