U.S. STARTUPS SOAR — NW FLORIDA CRASHES

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Using data from Indeed.com the intensity of startup jobs shows a 14% growth over the last 12 months.  U.S. total jobs advertised rose from 3.2 million to 3.35 million while at the same time startup jobs also rose from 52,000 to 63,000 creating a job intensity of 1.9%.  During the same time frame, Florida likewise saw total jobs advertised rise from 190,000 to 200,000 as startup jobs surged from 1,612 to 2,030 resulting in an increased job intensity of 1% from 0.85%.   Northwest Florida saw losses but in an erratic way (Chart1) as total jobs advertised fell from 18,000 to 15,000 as startup jobs fell 25% to 132 decreasing startup job intensity to 0.9%.

Based on a paper by Michael Mandel of the Progressive Policy Institute (See Innovation Index Page) it is possible to estimate the local startup ecosystem and the demand for jobs in target industries.  In this index, the United States as a whole is the baseline of one.  The relative startup friendliness is compared to the United States.  This index (Chart 2) is a real-time proxy index — not an index constructed up to a year in arrears after all data is in.

By this measure, Florida as a whole ranks well below the United States benchmark with a 0.54 index value while Northwest Florida has fallen to an index value of 0.46.  In the last quarter NW Florida slid from a 0.6 mark to a 0.46 index (Chart 2) after hitting a high of 0.79 in January 2018.

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Chart 2 Innovation Index

Florida as a whole shows a quarter to quarter index increase of 10% while NW Florida experienced a 24% decline in its index in the same period.  In Florida, only Miami-Dade have an index well above the panhandle.  NW Florida’s nearest big city, Atlanta, surpasses the U.S. benchmark by 33% topping NW Florida’s index by 70%.  NW Florida’s entrepreneur ecosystem has no weakened significantly for two quarters in a row!

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Chart 3 Innovation Index versus Time

The author can be contacted through his web site www.EnviromationInc.com or through his blog www.PanhandleProgress.com.