The Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island metropolitan statistical area had the most diverse workforce in the state of Florida, according to a quarterly report issued by Florida Gulf Coast University’s Industry Diversification Project. The report ranks the MSA at the top for the second quarter in a row.
The ranking is computed quarterly around the time of the release of workforce data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since this data is released with a six-month lag, the rankings refer to the state of the workforce for the third quarter of 2016, which spans July through September. The other two MSAs in Southwest Florida – Cape Coral-Fort Myers and Punta Gorda – ranked 7th and 17th respectively during the same quarter. There are 22 MSAs in the state.
The Southwest Florida workforce region also experienced an increase in industry diversification, going from the 10th most diverse region in the state (out of 24 workforce regions) to the 9th, from the third quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2016.
“Although it’s significant Naples had the most diverse workforce in the state for a second quarter in a row,” says Project Director Christopher Westley, who runs FGCU’s Regional Economic Research Institute. “It also reflects Naples’ intense seasonality in its workforce relative to other cities. Naples and Southwest Florida, in general, becomes less diverse in the winter and spring months as industries adjust to serve the seasonal population.”
Among Florida workforce regions, the Florida Crown region ranked as the most diverse. This region in comprised of Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrest and Union counties. North Florida, which comprises Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Hamilton, Suwannee and Lafayette counties, ranked last.
Labor market data for the fourth quarter of 2016 will be released in June. More information is available at lutgert.fgcu.edu/idp.