Saturday, July 13, 2024

Education/Health, Leisure/Hospitality, Trade/Transportation Lead Employment Gains in Southeast Florida in 2023 Q3

By Gay Cororaton, MIAMI REALTORS Chief Economist

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released last week the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) which provides a breakdown of the county employment and wages by industry.[1] Employment in privately owned businesses that are covered by federal and state unemployment insurance increased by 64,538, of which Miami-Dade County accounted for 48% (30,688).

Rising population, the rebound in tourism and international travel, the sustained growth of e-commerce, the strong economic and cultural relations of Southeast Florida to Latin America, and the attractiveness of Southeast Florida’ real estate for international homebuyers are powering employment growth.

The largest employment gains were in the education and health services industry (+19,106), leisure and hospitality (+11,409), and the trade, transportation, and utilities industries (+11,190). The strong employment growth in these areas augurs well for commercial real estate development, investment (sales), and leasing in student housing, medical buildings, and industrial buildings.

Rising population due to a natural increase in population (more deaths than births) and the attraction of Florida among retirees are driving the demand for education and health services. The US Census Bureau’s 2023 population estimates show that population in the Southeast Florida’s five countries: Miami-Dade County (+13,811), Broward (+15,642), Palm Beach  Broward (+13,934), St. Lucie (+14,700), and Martin (+1,328). Miami-Dade County topped all counties in net international migration (+54,457)[2].

The recovery of tourism sustained economic growth, and continuing improvements in Southeast Florida’s rail, airway, and ports infrastructure are supporting employment growth in leisure/hospitality, and trade/transportation and utilities. Improved capacity, efficiency, and connections across the area’s key infrastructure (e.g., Brightline, PortMiami, Miami International Airport)  are critical factors underpinning the expansion of business and employment in the leisure/hospitality and trade/transportation/utilities industry.

The Miami-Dade Beacon Council announced this January 2024 a  $100 million investment of the MSC Group in Miami-Dade that will bring approximately 250 South Florida-based team members from MSC Cargo, MSC Cruises and Explora Journeys under one roof in a new state-of-the-art facility within Block 55 at Sawyer’s Walk. Per the economic impact analysis run by Miami-Dade County, this latest development from the MSC Group will generate 668 direct and indirect jobs over the next three years. It will also provide $65.2M annually in recurring direct economic impact (Gross Regional Product), delivering measurable growth to the local community.[3]

The information services industry shed jobs as demand recalibrates due to evolving remote work demand.

Employment rose across most industries, but there were job losses in the information services (-423) and in the natural resources and mining industry (-149).The information services industry includes publishing, motion picture, broadcasting, and data processing and related services.[4] Nationally, the information service industry shed 172,215 workers over the period September 2022-September 2023, as big tech companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon,  Meta recalibrated their demand for information technology workers amid evolving remote work demand. Higher borrowing costs have also caused financial pains across industries. In Miami-Dade, Americano Media, a Hispanic media network with about 100 employees, furloughed its employees in August 2023 due to financial difficulties.[5]

Financial activities and information services industry workers earn on average the highest wages.

Workers in the financial activities (finance and insurance, real estate/rental/leasing) and information services earn the highest wages on average. Based on the average weekly wage and assuming a 52-week pay, the workers in these two industries where workers earned an annualized wage of over $100,000 during 2023 Q3.

Information service workers earned $126,000 in Miami-Dade County; Broward, $116,000; and Palm Beach, $107,900 in annualized wages during 2023 Q3.

In the financial activities industry that is comprised of the finance and insurance and real estate/rental/leasing subindustries, workers earned $110,300 in Miami-Dade and $121,600 in Palm Beach County.

Based on 2023 Q3 average weekly wages, the average annualized wage among payroll workers in Miami-Dade was $68,900; Broward, $64,948; Palm Beach, $68,744; Martin, $54,080; and St. Lucie, $48,724.


Download the  2023 Q3 Southeast Florida Employment and Wage Trends Report.

[1] Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW). The QCEW is released with a 6-month lag relative to the current month. The unadjusted data set that disaggregates by industry for all counties (released March 6, 2024) slightly differ from the press release for total employment for the 361 largest counties that excludes Martin County(released February 21, 2024). QCEW excludes proprietors, the unincorporated self-employed, unpaid family members, certain farm, and domestic workers from having to report employment data, and railroad workers covered by the railroad unemployment insurance system.

[2] Press Kit: Vintage 2023 Population Estimates for Counties, Metro/Micro (

[3] MSC Group to Expand Presence in Miami with New North American Headquarters for Cruise Division – The Beacon Council

[4] Industries at a Glance: Information: NAICS 51 : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (

[5] With no lifeline to pay its employees, Americano Media will be off the air next week as it begins an apparent shutdown of its operations | Media Matters for America

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