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Florida's 2014 GDP figures were released this month and once again Florida's exceptionalism shined through. While recession recovery efforts continue, our economy has been growing since 2011, and we continue to outpace the nation. Not only have we grown each year since 2011, each year has brought faster, stronger growth.
Higher still than the state's 2.7 percent overall GDP growth was Florida's private sector growth, which landed at 3.2 percent in 2014--once again higher than the national average. What does this mean to you? It means that Florida is creating the conditions for economic success. By getting out of the way of the entrepreneurial spirit, we're helping Florida's businesses grow, flourish and expand. This means more, better-paying jobs and greater opportunities for success in the years to come.
The numbers telling the Florida story don't stop there. Last year, Florida was ranked number one in aerospace manufacturing attractiveness and the second best state in the country to do business. Florida boasts the third highest number of technology establishments in the country and is fourth in the nation for technology industry workers. Therefore, we're not only growing, we are diversifying. We are expanding our horizons to embrace the technology industry and welcoming these burgeoning businesses with open arms.
These success stories can be seen each day, all across our state. Miami was recently named the second best metropolitan statistical area for startup activity in the country. It's also home to the number one cruise port in the world. The largest single-site employer in the United States, Walt Disney World, calls the Orlando area home. Florida's high tech corridor, which includes Gainesville, Orlando, Lakeland, St. Petersburg and more, creates cutting-edge aviation and aerospace advancements with an economic impact of $1.2 billion. This area is also responsible for creative digital media advances that many of us enjoy each day, including top-selling video games.
Panama City was ranked as the South's number one pro-business beach community, and the western gate to the Sunshine State, Pensacola, was ranked in the top 10 for successful aviation and aerospace clusters in the South.
As you can see, the future looks bright and opportunity can be seen for
miles. Let us never forget that Florida is more than our beautiful beaches and
laid-back lifestyle. Let us always push to do better, and let us celebrate what
we continue to do well.
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida