onstruction jobs in Florida should grow faster than other fields through 2017, according to a forecast released Friday.
University of Central Florida economist Sean Snaith expects construction jobs to grow 10.4 percent over threee yeras. Jobs in trade, transportation and utilities — which includes retail — are expected to grow 3.8 percent; professional and business services, 3.6 percent; education and health services, 2.2 percent; and leisure and hospitality, 2 percent.
"Bottom line is Florida's economy is improving and finally hitting its stride," Snaith said.
While the economy and jobs have been central to the campaign for Florida governor, Snaith said a governor "can't be held solely responsible for how the economy has done." A governor has no control over a national recession or measures implemented by the Federal Reserve Bank, he said.
Payrolls should grow 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter over the same period last year, Snaith said. But the economist expects payroll growth to slow to 2.3 percent in 2015, 2.1 percent in 2016 and 1.9 percent in 2017.
Still, Florida unemployment will be about 6 percent by the end of 2017, Snaith said, because the labor force is growing and there is a rising participation in the workforce, with discouraged workers returning to the job market. Unemployment currently is 6.1 percent statewide, though lower in Broward at 5.2 percent in September. Palm Beach County is a 6 percent unemployment
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