Orlando Metro’s trailing 12 month 4.6% employment growth rate was triple the national average through February 2018 and its 3.4% unemployment rate is well below the national 4.4% rate. These indicators speak to the region’s ability to attract new talent from elsewhere in the United States and abroad. The Metro’s fastest growing industries during the last year have been education and health services, construction, and trade. The leisure and hospitality sector, Orlando Metro’s largest, grew 8.6% and added the most jobs of any single category (22,000).
According to the Appraisal, “Orlando is one of the fastest growing metros in the nation and has seen job growth over twice the national average since 2014. The healthy labor market has contributed to both strong recent demand and an increase in younger renters. Furthermore, the University of Central Florida provides a steady stream of renters to much of the metro, particularly the Southeast Submarket. As the second largest university in the country by enrollment (more than 65,000), it houses only about 20% of its students, leaving plenty of renters looking for additional housing.”
Tourism also plays a vital role in Orlando’s economy. Orlando Metro is one of the
world’s premier travel destinations with more than 68 million annual visitors, an all time record for the U.S. travel industry, solidifying Orlando Metro’s position as the most visited destination in the nation. Many new theme parks are delivering soon and in the pipeline further bolstering Orlando’s future tourism prospects.
To accommodate the growth and visitor traffic, large infrastructure improvements are in process including:
1. The I-4 Ultimate Improvement Project – a 21-mile makeover spanning multiple Counties’ widening existing roads, reconstruction of interchanges, and adding Sunrail connections. The I-4 corridor, which runs northeast to Daytona and southwest to Tampa, continues to draw large migration and major demand into the area.
2. Orlando International Airport’s $3 billion capital improvement project – additions of an Automated People Mover, terminal enhancements, and gate additions.