The growth and strength of Florida’s economy is expected to outpace the national economy through 2022, predicts national economist and University of Central Florida faculty member Sean Snaith in his latest Florida & Metro Forecast report released today.

“Florida’s labor force, payroll jobs and real gross state product are expected to continue to grow at a higher rate than the national average,” says Snaith, director of the UCF Institute for Economic Forecasting, which produces quarterly Florida & Metro Forecast reports. For his entire first-quarter report, see here.

Snaith says more Floridians and out-of-state job seekers will be on the hunt for employment, as the prospect of finding a job has steadily improved. Florida’s labor force is expected to grow by 1.4 percent through 2022, and the state’s unemployment rate is expected to fall to 3.2 percent this year thanks to consistently strong payroll job creation, he says.

Snaith also predicts the employment sectors that will have the strongest average job growth in the state are Construction (4.7 percent), Professional & Business Services (4 percent), Financial (2.2 percent), Leisure & Hospitality (2 percent), Education & Health Services (1.7 percent), and Trade, Transportation & Utilities (1.5 percent).

Additionally, Florida’s economy, as measured by real gross state product, is forecasted to expand at an average annual rate of 3.2 percent. Average growth is expected to be 0.5 percentage points greater than the institute’s forecasted average for the national real gross domestic product growth over the same period.

Growth, however, is not without its pains, Snaith says.

“The affordable housing problem is increasing, particularly in the faster-growing areas of the state,” he says.

Housing starts are projected to accelerate, but not fast enough to ease the shortage of single-family housing in the near term. The forecast predicts total housing starts to be 139,111 in 2019, 150,908 in 2020, 161,278 in 2021 and 166,914 in 2022. In addition, house-price appreciation is expected to decelerate over this period as supply catches up with demand.

As for retail, the forecast shows sales will grow at an average pace of more than 4.6 percent through 2022 thanks to a strong national economy, Florida’s strong labor market, bigger paychecks and rising household wealth.

Snaith is a national expert in economics, forecasting, market sizing and economic analysis who authors quarterly reports about the state of the economy. Bloomberg News has named Snaith one of the country’s most accurate forecasters for his predictions about the Federal Reserve’s benchmark interest rate, the Federal Funds rate.

The UCF Institute for Economic Competitiveness strives to provide complete, accurate and timely national, state and regional forecasts and economic analyses. Through these analyses, the institute provides valuable resources to the public and private sectors for informed decision-making.