The Sunshine State will ring in the New Year with another wave of job losses and declining population, says a UCF economist.
That’s the message from Sean Snaith, the director of UCF’s Institute for Economic Competitiveness, in his latest statewide quarterly forecast released this morning. Snaith says Florida’s recovery from the “death throes” of this recession will be confounded by a temporary decrease in population and massive budget shortfalls.
“It will take strong, visionary leadership to ensure that Florida can compete in this new environment, because very difficult choices lay ahead,” Snaith says.
The state can’t continue to rely on an influx of new residents to boost revenue in the public and private sectors. Instead, its recovery will depend upon a significant investment in its infrastructure and labor force through education and research opportunities, he explains.
But, 2010 doesn’t bode all bad news, Snaith adds. Real Gross State Product (GSP), the state-level analogue to GDP, will finally see an annual increase this coming year, and personal income growth will slowly accelerate, as well. Florida’s demand for health services can only increase, Snaith said.
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