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Florida's Technology Sector Attracting Skilled Workers Needing Homes

ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- With its warm business climate and appealing lifestyle, Florida is fast becoming one of the nation's leading technology states.

Statewide, Florida's high-tech industries added 10,900 net jobs in 2005, reaching a total of 276,400 jobs, according to Florida Cybercities 2007, a recent report by the American Electronics Association (AeA) using the most current state data available.

With a 4 percent growth rate in tech jobs, Florida was the second fastest growing "cyberstate" in 2005, and the fourth largest overall. Miami-Fort Lauderdale was the state's largest technology hub, employing some 75,300 tech industry workers, followed by Tampa-St. Petersburg (55,900 jobs), Orlando (42,600), Palm Bay-Melbourne (20,900), and Jacksonville (18,200).

"This report may surprise a lot of people around the country who do not think of Florida as a high-tech state," said Maryann Fiala, executive director of AeA's Florida Council in a September press release. "In fact, many people in Florida may not realize that the state employs more tech workers than every state but California, Texas and New York."

Fiala added that Florida's high-tech economy is diffused across the state. "Nine of the state's top ten metropolitan areas added jobs in 2005," she said. "This benefits Florida's economy greatly, as tech industry jobs pay, on average, 70 percent more than the state's average private sector wage."

Florida's diverse technology sector ranges from the aerospace industry, centered on Cape Canaveral and the "Space Coast," to a growing optics, laser and simulation training cluster in the Orlando area. In addition, South Florida, known as the "iCoast" has a long heritage in computer hardware, software applications, telecommunications and other IT fields.

WIRED magazine named Orlando one of the "Top 10 Tech Towns" and one of the "Top 10 Places to Get Your Geek On" -- rankings based on factors as diverse as proximity to top-ranked engineering schools to Circuit City stores per capita.

Led by the steady growth of Scripps Florida in Palm Beach County, the state has emerged as one of the top sites for biomedical research and development. Site Selection magazine recently rated Florida 7th in the nation as a life science R&D location among site selection consultants and real estate executives.

In recent years, Florida has also attracted other leading bioscience research facilities, including Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies in St. Lucie County and the Burnham Institute for Medical Research in Orlando.

Leading universities and colleges are also investing in biotech research, including the University of Miami's new Clinical Research Institute in Miami and Florida Atlantic University's Centers of Excellence in Biomedical and Marine Biotechnology.

"Throughout South Florida, the biotech corridor will grow and create a solid foundation of high-wage jobs," said real estate analyst Brad Hunter, director, South Florida region, Metrostudy in Boca Raton. "This will be a long-term process that will enhance the value of both commercial and residential properties in the region."

The Florida Association of Realtors, the voice for real estate in Florida, provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 150,000 members in 67 boards/associations. FAR's Media Center Web site is available at

Editor's Note: This is the fifth in a series of articles focusing on the many long-term strengths of Florida's residential real estate market as it moves through the current cycle.

Marla Martin, Communications Manager, or Jeff Zipper, Vice President of Communications

407/438-1400, ext. 2326 or ext. 2314

SOURCE Florida Association of Realtors
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