Fort Lauderdale’s business costs are more than 10% cheaper that in nearby Miami making it a more affordable alternative that still presents many of the global-connection perks of occupying space in South Florida according to CoStar, the leading commercial real estate information company.
In 2017, Fort Lauderdale employment gains continue to outperform the nation’s. The area’s annual employment growth, at roughly 2.4% is still above that of the U.S. and a housing -market recovery is boosting job growth in housing-related sectors such as construction and professional services. Gains in some mainstays of the local economy including leisure and hospitality are also healthy, likely in response to increasing tourism.
Like all of South Florida, Fort Lauderdale is benefiting from sizable population growth, which will help maintain job growth in coming years. Strong expansion is expected to continue in a range of industries including the leisure and hospitality sectors, which benefits from the robust tourism. Also, the professional and business services sector is showing gains as tenants expand in response to strong economic conditions. Similarly, construction employment should outperform the national rate, thanks to a recovering housing market and growing number of apartment and condominium projects in the pipeline.
Sizable growth in low wage jobs has a limited expansion potential so far but that is about to change. While employment increases are healthy, more than half of these jobs continue to be in low-wage positions. As a result, increased demand brought by the recovering economy has not been fully realized. Specifically, underperforming medium household income growth has constrained retail spending and can cause affordability issues for those who want to qualify for a home mortgage or live in an apartment in desirable but expansive areas like Downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Fortunately, growth in professional and business services has picked up significantly, and further white-collar jobs gains are pending because employment growth in financial services here is expected to outperform the national average. Improving economic conditions mean that some tenants are looking to expand their payrolls. For example, tech tenant Magic Leap recently opened an office in Dania Beach with immediate plans to hire well over 100 employees from the Greater Fort Lauderdale area. The Fort Lauderdale economy also benefits from Miami’s tourism spillover and the area provides advantage from a white-collar office market perspective.