‘Business-Friendly’ Florida Beats New York for First Time in 40 Years in Number of Jobs

By Naveen Athrappully
Naveen Athrappully
Naveen Athrappully
Naveen Athrappully is a news reporter covering business and world events at The Epoch Times.
February 3, 2023Updated: February 3, 2023

The state of Florida saw more jobs than New York for the first time in four decades in 2022, which many see as part of a trend of Americans moving out of states like New York in search of a low-tax, low-cost lifestyle.

In Florida, there were 9,578,500 nonfarm jobs by the end of 2022, which was higher than the 9,576,100 jobs in New York, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is the first time since 1982 that Florida has seen more employees than New York. Out of the 51 metropolitan regions having a population of a million or more, Florida’s Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach area registered the lowest jobless rate in December, with only 1.9 percent of the local workforce looking for work.

“Unlike @chuckschumer’s New York, Florida’s low taxes and business-friendly environment is inspiring more job growth across the state. Florida is the best state to get a job and raise your family!” Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) stated in a tweet on Feb. 3.

New York imposed harsh measures during the pandemic, with statewide restrictions and lockdowns. The job market was subsequently hit hard. In contrast, restrictions were fewer and less severe in Florida, and it was able to increasingly attract people from different sectors, including finance and tech, to the state.

Some big-name investment funds have shifted to Florida. For instance, Paul Singer’s Elliot Management and Ken Griffin’s Citadel have both moved to West Palm Beach. Carl Ichan has moved his hedge fund to Sunny Isles Beach.

Florida Tops in Resident Additions, Zero Taxes

Over the years, the job gap between Florida and New York has been narrowing as American citizens move south, relocating to states with lower taxes.

A Jan. 30th report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that more people moved into 26 states than moving out last year. Florida came at the top as the most attractive state for such movers, gaining 318,855 new residents. This was followed by Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

When it came to states that lost the most residents, California topped the list with 343,230 people moving out, followed by New York with a loss of 299,557 individuals. Illinois, New Jersey, and Massachusetts made up the remaining three of the top five on the list.

According to a map by the organization Americans for Tax Reform, the five states which attracted the most residents had Republican-controlled legislatures. Except for North Carolina, the others also have Republican governors. In contrast, states that lost residents were controlled by Democrats other than Massachusetts.

With regard to personal taxes, Florida beats New York hands down. While New Yorkers faced an individual income tax rate of 10.9 percent in 2022, according to The Tax Foundation, residents in Florida were subject to no individual income tax.

According to NAR report author Nadia Evangelou, many people left states like New York looking for “a better neighborhood, cheaper housing, and … a newer/better/larger home.”

Florida Economic Plan

Florida’s rise in jobs comes as Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is preparing a slew of measures to boost the state’s economy. In his Fiscal Year 2023–24 Framework for Freedom Budget, he has set aside $170.9 million for the state’s Small Business Credit Initiative to support small-business lending opportunities.

There is an allocation of $100 million for broadband, equity, access, and deployment program (BEAD), while another $100 million is set aside for the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to support workforce and infrastructure projects throughout the state. The initiative also provides $32.6 million to modernize and enhance Florida’s Reemployment Assistance system.

In 2022, Florida saw 611,000 new business formations. Since DeSantis took office, the state has seen more than 2.1 million new business formations, which is “more than any other state in the nation over the same period,” according to a Feb. 1st press release from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

In a post at the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Ben Tabatabaei, chief economist of the organization, points out that the state has a “stronger labor market” than the United States as a whole. He expects Florida to continue to do well, provided there isn’t a “prolonged global economic slowdown.”