The Real Story-Central Florida Employment Jobs Outlook 2016

The Central Florida Employment Council ( had its annual employment outlook meeting this morning featuring Lisa Hancock from Manpower, Sean Snaith form the UCF Institute for Economic Competitiveness and Charlotte McDonald, HR Director at Holler Classic and past GOSHRM president.

All these leaders had one goal in mind today; give company leaders their thoughts on where the employment market in Central Florida is and where it may go in 2016.  As a bonus, Charlotte talked about HR trends and the impact of technology and certain laws that companies must pay attention to when hiring.

Here are the highlights:

  • The United States added 292,000 jobs in December.  This is pretty good but for 2015, job growth was actually down.    In 2014, we averaged 260,000 jobs per month.  2015 we averaged 221,000 jobs.
  • Jobs are being added but wages are stagnant.  This is a HUGE issue if it does not change in the future.  If companies don’t raise wages, they will have a hard time attracting new employees and retaining their current workforce.  Also,   our students who train locally will take jobs outside the area that pay more. 
  • Orlando leads the way in Florida and the country in unemployment rate. (4.5%).  Last time the unemployment rate was below 4% was 2007.
  • While the unemployment rate is low, we still have workers who are not be counted as well as high under-employment (U-6 rate).
  • Globally, 39 of 42 surveyed companies by Manpower see increase hiring.  If you are looking for a job abroad, try India, Taiwan, Japan and Turkey.  Stay away from Brazil, Finland and France.
  • Locally, Manpower’s survey found 21% of the state companies plan on increasing hiring.  In the Orlando MSA, 17% of our local companies will increase their hiring.
  • Top 10 skills in today’s job market: skilled workers, drivers, teachers, sales, administration assistants, management, nurses, technicians, accountants and engineers.  We have a major talent shortage going and the future looks very challenging.
  • Central Florida may have challenges in the future so to economic unrest around the world.  Brazil suffering with major recession (worst since 1901).  In 2014, South America sent 770,000 visitors to Orlando.  That number is certain to go down.  Another challenge for Orlando as well as Florida is our friends from Canada.  4.2 million Canadians visit Florida each year but the exchange rate makes purchases in the US cost 30% more.   Sean Snaith believes economy issues in other countries will certainly have an effect on sustaining the job growth we have been having in the leisure and hospitality industry.
  • Charlotte McDonald reminded everyone of the impending talent shortage that is already happening in certain skill sets.  To put it all in perspective, right now the U.S. has 3 workers per each retiree.   In a few years, the ratio will be 1:1. Companies must build huge talent pipelines to be able to stay competitive.  According to Lisa from Manpower, they are seeing that right now we don’t have enough teachers to train new nurses which also will be a challenge.
  • Human resource professionals have to really grasp technology and data analytics to be able to use the systems companies use to hire.  This is very challenging as well.

If you are a job seekers reading this report, you have a very bright (and fast moving) if you get skill sets in many sectors already seeing talent shortages.  For employers, pipelines for great talent cannot be ignored. 


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