FGCU finds Naples-Immokalee-Marco area most diverse in the state
FGCU’s Industry Diversification Project has found that the Naples-Immokalee-Marco metropolitan statistical area has the highest diversity workforce rate in the state.
The Cape Coral-Fort Myers and Punta Gorda MSAs have been ranked eighth and 18th respectively.
According to a quarterly report released in December by the Industry Diversification Project, the Naples-Immokalee-Marco MSA has moved from sixth place to first place in diversified industries from 2015 to 2016.
The rankings run through an index, with zero meaning the least diverse, through 10, meaning the most diverse.
According to the FGCU Industry Diversification Index archives, Southwest Florida faced its lowest numbers in 2012 with an index of 7.92. Florida as a whole also suffered with an index number of 8.40.
However, in the second quarter of 2016, Southwest Florida’s index number reached as high as 8.41, while Florida as a whole reached 8.56. This is a still a stretch from Florida’s highest numbers in the second quarter of 2003, which had Southwest Florida at 9.14 and the state of Florida at 8.79.
The report finds that this growth in industry follows the ebb and flow of the demands of seasonal residents in Southwest Florida.
From October to March, tourists and seasonal residents (aka “snowbirds”) cause demand for retail trade and accommodation and food service to increase.
However, once the snowbirds leave in April that demand decreases and allows for a more diverse economy with alternative businesses.
The cycle starts up again once August ends and the tourism season resumes in Southwest Florida.
According to the Industry Diversification Project, while some MSAs within Florida increased their diversity workforce rate, Florida as a whole slipped in the rankings.
In the second quarter of 2016, Florida was ranked 24th in the nation, while in the first quarter of 2016, it was ranked 22nd.
This is an improvement from the second quarter of 2015, when Florida was ranked 28th out of all 50 states.
Currently, Florida is ranked behind Louisiana and ahead of Missouri, according to the study.