Report ranks Florida third in small business growth in 2017


Florida had one of the nation's strongest performances in small business growth through last year, according to a new study.

The study, known as the Paychex IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch, found that Florida ranked third overall in small business growth across the country, led by only Tennessee and Washington. With that, the study concludes that Florida’s job growth declined nearly 1 percent since 2016, even though more expansive gains were seen across the economy.

Part of the report, the Small Business Jobs Index, which measures change in small business employment nationwide, found that small business employment in Florida dropped 0.78 percent for the year, with hourly earnings having increased by 2.76 percent since 2016. That’s an average rate of 2.85 percent for 2017, according to the report – a slight increase from 2.75 percent in 2016.

Across Florida, the study says, small business wages increased by 2.7 percent last year, to $23.83.

The human resources company and information provider’s report analyzed the payroll data of about 350,000 Paychex clients to gauge small business wage and employment trends on a series of scales that include national, regional, state, metro and industry bases.

In fitting convenience, WalletHub also named Orlando as the best metro area in Florida for jobs in 2018, ranked at No. 13 on the personal finance website’s list. Tampa came in at a close No. 16, with Jacksonville ranked just out of the top 75 and Miami in the top 85.