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- 2012 - November - 9th -

Fed report: Florida lost half of its construction jobs in the recession

by Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

Here's a fact to hammer home the recession's impact on Florida. Employment in the state's construction industry fell 53.3 percent from its peak before the recession to its depths in the downturn.

No other job category fell by nearly that much.

That means construction lost one of every two jobs.

The second hardest-hit industry was manufacturing, where employment contracted by 24.6 percent. That's one of every four jobs.

Those numbers come from a Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Jacksonville Branch presentation Monday to the First Coast Manufacturers Association.

Overall, Florida's employment dropped 11.5 percent from the peak to the trough losing more than one of every 10 jobs.

Other industries where employment contracted more than 10 percent:

Information: Down 18.7 percent

Business services: Down 16.1 percent

Financial services: Down 14.6 percent

Wholesale trade: Down 14.6 percent

Other services: Down 13.4 percent

Transportation, warehousing and utilities: Down 11.3 percent

Retail trade: Down 10.6 percent.

The category that fared best was education and health care, which fell just 0.3 percent.

That was then. How about now?

The same report also showed how those categories have fared from their lowest points through August.

Business services jobs did the best, gaining 10.9 percent, followed by education and health care, up 7.1 percent.

Overall, there's been job gains of 2.8 percent in the state from the depth of the job losses through August.

Local government numbers showed no growth, however.

Construction jobs grew by 1.7 percent and manufacturing by 1.5 percent, which indicates a slow comeback.

The number of leisure and hospitality jobs bounced back by almost 6 percent, followed closely by retail trade, which recovered by 5.5 percent.

The report also measured employment losses and gains by metropolitan area.

Naples saw the largest drop, 18.1 percent, but also has grown the most since its low point, by 7.1 percent.

Jacksonville's employment fell by 9.2 percent and has grown by 2.7 percent.

Panama City lost the lowest percentage of jobs, at 7.1 percent, and has gained 1.3 percent.

Duval single-family permits increasing

Housing construction is on the move.

The City has approved more single-family building permits the past three months than it did last year or the year before.

From August through October, the City approved 396 single-family permits, up 45 percent from last year and up 41 percent from the year before.

Cumulative 12-month numbers are still below 2009-10, but above 2010-11.

For the 12-month period ending in October, the City approved 1,249 single-family permits, up from 1,047 last year but down from 1,589 in 2009-10.

Over the past three years, the monthly numbers began dropping in February 2010, when permits reached 196. The highest monthly count since then was 155 in May this year and numbers have been at 100 or above since then.

The October permits this year numbered 124 up from 84 last year and 81 the year before.

World Affairs Council plans trivia contest

The World Affairs Council of Jacksonville plans the annual Admiral Jonathan T. Howe Academic WorldQuest competition from 5:30-9 p.m. Tuesday at the University of North Florida Herbert University Center.

Students from 18 high schools in Duval, Clay, Nassau and St. Johns counties are fielding 41 teams.

Each team comprises four students competing in the categories of U.S. Economic Competitiveness, Middle East, China, Environmental Sustainability, Current Events and Geography.

The winning team will represent Jacksonville at the national competition in the spring in Washington, D.C.

The trip is underwritten by the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville and the Academic WorldQuest 2012 Title Sponsor, John and Erlane Tait, and BBVA Compass Bank.

The 2011 winning team, XAOC, from Stanton College Preparatory School, went on to the national competition in Washington, D.C., this past spring.

UNF grads stay close to home

About two-thirds of University of North Florida graduates remain in Jacksonville, based on numbers from 2005-11 distributed last week by UNF President John Delaney.

Delaney spoke to the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville Oct. 30 about the future of higher education.

As part of his presentation, he shared some facts, including the number and percentage of UNF alumni living inside and outside of Florida.

The percentage living in Jacksonville declined from 68 percent in 2005 to 66 percent from 2006-2008 and then 65 percent for two years to 64 percent in 2011.

Still, that 64 percent represents 37,530 graduates compared with 28,045 in 2005.

UNF reports there are 58,983 alumni living in the U.S., with 81 percent in Florida. That compares with the 41,079 living graduates in 2005, with 82 percent in Florida.

JCCI Forward plans 'learning lab'

Jacksonville Community Council Inc. Forward plans a "Learning Lab: Engaging in Community Visioning" from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Pure Night Club, 8206 Philips Highway. The Forward young professionals' group has invited leadership of the JAX2025 visioning project to attend, including Mayor Alvin Brown, JCCI CEO Ben Warner and JAX2025 steering committee chairs Oliver Barakat, Carl Cannon and Ju'Coby Pittman-Peele. For information, visit jcci.org or call 396-3052.

We Care to honor Trotter

We Care Jacksonville will present its 2012 Caring Awards from 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday at the Jacksonville Marriott at Southpoint, honoring its founder, Dr. George Trotter, and the volunteer primary care clinics that care for We Care's patients. Tickets are $35. For information, visit wecarejacksonville.org.

Hardin Construction lands ING contract

Hardin Construction Co. LLC will handle the $3.33 million build-out for ING U.S. at Freedom Commerce Centre. The Mathis Report apologizes for reporting a different contractor Thursday.

Kmathis@baileypub.com

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

State job wins and losses as of August

Category% change peak to trough% change trough to August
Construction - 53.3% 1.7%
Manufacturing- 24.6% 1.5%
Information- 18.7% 2.2%
Business services- 16.1% 10.9%
Financial services- 14.6% 3.0%
Wholesale trade- 14.6% 0.7%
Other services- 13.4% 0.2%
Transportation, warehousing, utilities- 11.3% 4.3%
Retail trade- 10.6% 5.5%
Leisure & hospitality- 7.4% 5.9%
Local government- 6.0%0.0%
Federal & state government- 4.3% 0.7%
Education & health care- 0.3% 7.1%
Total- 11.5% 2.8%

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Jacksonville Branch

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