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The Best Cities in Florida for Job Seekers

Job Seekers.FL

by on September 30, 2013

Florida is having a good year for job seekers. The Sunshine State has seen its unemployment rate fall to 7.0 percent, besting the national average of 7.3 percent. NerdWallet wanted to find the best cities in Florida for job seekers, and so we asked the following questions as we analyzed cities and town across the state:

  1. Do people earn high salaries? We included median household income in the calculation.
  2. Is the city growing? We assessed population growth of those 16 and over to ensure that the city is attracting workers.
  3. Are most people employed? We looked at the employment rate to determine the percentage of the city that is working. We took into account retirement and unemployment to determine the best cities for job seekers.

 

Best Cities in Florida for Job Seekers

1. Wesley Chapel

Growth in Wesley Chapel, located just north of Tampa, has been astronomical. The population has nearly quintupled between 2008 and 2011, and employment rates are high, with 73.9 percent of the working age population employed. 25.4 percent of the population work in education services, health care and social assistance, while 13.7 percent work in finance and insurance, real estate, rental and leasing.

2. Valrico

Valrico is another Florida city that has seen tremendous growth over the last few years. Located east of Tampa, Valrico’s population grew 268.3 percent between 2008 and 2011. Valrico has a high median household income of $76,016 and a relatively high employment rate of 65.1 percent. 20.8 percent of the population work in education services, health care and social assistance, and 13.6 percent work in professional, scientific, management and administrative services.

3. Riverview

Riverview is located south of Tampa and has seen a huge population growth of 260.9 percent from 2008 to 2011. Employment rates are high, with 70.7 percent of the population employed and a median household income of $67,298. 21.5 percent of the population work jobs in education services, health care and social assistance, and 12.1 percent of the population work in finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing.

4. Fruit Cove

Fruit Cove is a suburb of Jacksonville, in St. Johns County. Fruit Cove has seen moderate population growth of 5.6 percent but boasts a high employment rate of 70.3 percent and a median household income of $96,449, the highest on our list. 17.8 percent of the population work in education services, health care and social assistance, while 16.8 percent work in finance and insurance, real estate, rental and leasing.

 5. Cooper City

Cooper City, a northern suburb of Miami, is located in southeastern Florida. Cooper City’s population has remained relatively stable, with 0.68 percent growth from 2008 to 2011. While it may not have grown as quickly as some of the other cities on the list, Cooper City does boast a high employment rate of 71.9 percent and a very high median household income of $91,650. 25.7 percent of Cooper City’s residents work in education services, health care and social assistance, and 12.9 percent work in finance and insurance, real estate, rental and leasing.

6. Weston

Weston is located on the western side of Broward County, in southeastern Florida. Weston has seen a moderate growth of 3.7 percent from 2008 to 2011 and has a healthy employment rate of 69.0 percent. Weston has a high median household income of $94,084, the second-highest on our list. Weston is a master-planned community with a thriving commercial and retail sector. 19.9 percent of the population work in education services, health care and social assistance, and 16.4 percent work in professional, scientific, management and administrative services.

7. Oviedo

Oviedo is located 20 minutes south of downtown Orlando in central Florida, a couple miles south of Lake Jessup. Oviedo has seen a large 9.0 percent population growth between 2008 and 2011. Additionally, Oviedo has a high employment rate of 70.9 percent as well as a high median household income of $83,742. Major employers in Oviedo include Publix supermarkets, A. Duda and Sons Inc., Seminole Community College and the city government.

8. Doral

Doral lies northwest of Miami, near the Miami-Dade International Airport. Doral is rapidly growing, with a 58.1 percent population growth from 2008 to 2011. With an employment rate of 69.7 percent and a high median household income of $71,656, Doral is a great place for job seekers. 14.8 percent of the city’s residents work in wholesale trade, and 12.5 percent work in education services, health care and social assistance.

9. Wellington

Wellington is located in southeastern Florida, in Palm Beach County. Wellington has seen a 4.4 percent population growth from 2008 to 2011. Its high employment rate of 69.0 percent and median household income of $78,268 prove Wellington an excellent place for job seekers. 22.7 percent of the population work in education services, health care and social assistance, and 13.9 percent work in professional, scientific, management and administrative services. Wellington is known for its equestrian community as well as its arts and culture scene.

10. Coral Springs

Coral Springs is located in southeastern Florida, 20 miles northwest of Fort Lauderdale. While Coral Springs has seen a slight 2.9 percent decline in population from 2008 to 2011, it has a high employment rate of 73.7 percent and a high median household income of $70,610. 20.8 percent of the population work in education services, health care and social assistance, and 14.2 percent work in professional, scientific, management and administrative services.

 

Rank City Nearest Big City Median Household Income (2011) Percent Population Growth (2008 to 2011) Employment Rates (2011) Overall
1 Wesley Chapel Tampa $71,408 371.5% 73.9% 87.4
2 Valrico Tampa $76,016 268.3% 65.1% 75.7
3 Riverview Tampa $67,298 260.9% 70.7% 74.3
4 Fruit Cove Jacksonville $96,449 5.6% 70.3% 65.0
5 Cooper City Fort Lauderdale $91,650 0.7% 71.9% 63.4
6 Weston Fort Lauderdale $94,084 3.7% 69.0% 63.1
7 Oviedo Orlando $83,742 9.0% 70.9% 60.0
8 Doral Miami $71,656 58.1% 69.7% 58.2
9 Wellington West Palm Beach $78,268 4.4% 69.0% 56.1
10 Coral Springs Fort Lauderdale $70,610 -2.9% 73.7% 54.7

 

Methodology

The overall score for each city was derived from the following measures:

  1. Median household income from the U.S. Census (2011 ACS)
  2. Population change from 2008 to 2011 from the U.S. Census (2011 ACS)
  3. Employment rate from the U.S. Census (2011 ACS)

131 Florida cities designated as places by the U.S. Census were included in this analysis. Only places with a population greater than 20,000 were considered. All information about occupations and industry are from the U.S. Census.

 
Photo Credit: Tampa Skyline by Sonny Side Up!

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