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  • 2021 Economic Outlook & Jobs Solution Summit Recap

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    January 29, 2021
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     Economic Outlook & Jobs Solution Summit RECAP
    During the 2021 virtual Economic Outlook & Jobs Solution Summit, Florida Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish, other prominent economists and leading industry experts provided an economic forecast for the coming year, giving an overview of Florida's budget, economic diversification potential, the changing labor market, a real estate outlook, an update on international trade, and more. 
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    Key Takeaways
    • Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce provided the official welcome to summit participants.  Wilson discussed challenges Florida experienced during 2020 as COVID-19 affected the global economy. He also described the Florida Chamber's Open for Business Campaign, Florida’s efforts to continue to diversify our economy and the priorities we must make in order to remain competitive and become the 10th largest economy.
    • Florida’s Chief Financial Officer and Cabinet Member Jimmy Patronis provided an overview of Florida’s budget, the industries hit hardest by the pandemic and what is expected as Florida’s recovery continues. Patronis noted that while Florida’s economy has struggled, the state and its citizens are resilient and signs are positive. He emphasized that a priority for Florida businesses is legislation that will provide COVID-19 liability protections.
    • Bill Yeargin, President & CEO, Correct Craft discussed the manufacturing industry as an important economic engine for Florida’s economy, explaining that Florida is currently 12th in the nation in manufacturing. However, Florida is growing faster than other top states in manufacturing and this growth is important to reaching the Florida 2030 Blueprint goal to move into the top 5 states in manufacturing. Yeargin also provided areas for improvement, including the need for companies to be able to adjust to the increased use in technology and the crucial need for effective workforce training.
    • Mark Vitner, Managing Director, Senior Economist, Wells Fargo described the impact COVID-19 has had on the economy, noting the contraction was confined to two months, with a sudden loss of approximately 23 million jobs nationally. Vitner also discussed the impact the pandemic is having on the retail industry noted which industries are expected to see future growth, and the impact changing demographics will have on Florida’s economy.
    • Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Dane Eagle led a panel on Diversifying and Growing Florida’s Economy, with panelists Jamal Sowell, Secretary of Commerce and President & CEO of Enterprise Florida, Inc.; Marc Hoenstine, Director, Economic Development, Duke Energy; and Crystal Stiles, Senior Director, Economic Development, FPL. The panel discussed the importance of partnerships that help ensure Florida remains competitive and an attractive destination for new companies. As Florida continues to diversify its economy, panel members described which industries they see growing in Florida and also provided suggestions on how the state of Florida can help ensure Florida’s business climate remains strong.
    • Jim Zingale, Executive Director, Florida Department of Revenue provided a historical perspective on Florida's recessions and how Florida has responded. Zingale described the impact COVID-19 has had on the Florida economy and how Florida's recovery from the recession brought on by the pandemic differs from past experiences. He also discussed Florida's budget during the last fiscal year and the forecast for the upcoming year, noting that a housing collapse did not occur during this recession and normal growth is expected to return.
    • Rose Fagler, Economic Development Manager, Weyerhaeuser discussed Florida’s rural communities and the vital role they play in Florida’s economy. Fagler described the Florida 2030 Goals that include increasing the percentage of Florida’s GDP that is produced by Florida’s rural counties. She noted the need to work to strengthen Florida’s rural areas by utilizing the important tools available for economic development, the need for reliable broadband, and the importance of streamlining processes.
    • Adrienne Johnston, Director, Division of Workforce Services, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity gave an overview of Florida’s current labor market and what we can expect to see in the future. Johnston described how COVID-19 has impacted Florida industries and discussed how they are recovering. Johnston also presented new data illustrating business hiring patterns, household survey data showing the impact of the pandemic, including a comparison between states.
    • Brad O’Connor, Ph.D., Chief Economist, Florida Realtors presented an overview of Florida’s real estate market, and described how the housing market was impacted by the pandemic, noting that low interest rates helped keep Florida home sales strong. He provided expectations for the housing market, commercial real estate and the office market moving forward.
    • Ted Abernathy, Managing Partner, Economic Leadership, LLC discussed the important connection between safety, sustainability and health on Florida and and global economics. Abernathy presented supporting data on Florida health statistics including workforce fatalities and how they differ by industry. He also provided an overview on the impact of the pandemic and what to anticipate in 2021.
    • John Coates, VP/Senior Institutional Client Advisors, PNC Capital Advisors provided an overview of the impact COVID-19 has had our international trading partners, noting that foreign governments, like the U.S., have injected stimulus into their economies and recovery is taking hold. He also described the outlook for the U.S. dollar as well as discussing how the pandemic hit the economy of Latin American countries, many of which are our major trading partners.
    • Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist, Florida Chamber Foundation, provided an overview of Florida’s current job numbers and job changes over the past year. Parrish also gave his forecast for the expected recovery time of each of Florida’s important industry groups. In addition, Parrish showed data on net migration from other states as well as showing data on where Florida’s next 4 million people are expected to be.
    What Others are Saying
    The below media stories have been published highlighting various speakers and topics addressed at the Summit.
    • Florida Politics: Chamber summit: Technology, education investments could bring a manufacturing boom
    • The Center Square: Chamber panel: Florida should promote business climate as it does tourism
    • Florida Politics: Jimmy Patronis makes liability protections pitch at Florida Chamber summit
    • Florida Politics: Florida business leaders push to renew target industry tax rebates
    In Case You Missed it... Digital Pass Available for Purchase
    If you missed the Economic Outlook & Jobs Solution Summit, you can still purchase a Digital Pass so you and your employees will have a digital copy of every speaker and the information crucial to understanding what's ahead for 2021. Click here to purchase.
    Solution Summit Dates
    A special thank you to our 2021 Solution Summit presenting sponsors! If you are interested in sponsorship, marketing opportunities, or would like to be notified when registration opens for any of our events, please contact Aaron Kinnon at 850-521-1253 or akinnon@flfoundation.org.
    Thank you for helping us secure Florida’s Future.

    Florida Chamber Foundation  www.FLFoundation.org
    136 S. Bronough Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32301 (850) 521-1200