The Cape Coral-Fort Myers Metropolitan Statistical Area has the fifth best employment outlook in the nation, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, which asked employers their hiring plans for the fourth quarter.
Among employers surveyed for the Cape Coral-Fort Myers MSA, 25 percent plan to hire more employees from October through December. None reported planning to reduce payrolls, while 74 percent expect to maintain staff levels and 1 percent indicated they are unsure of their hiring plans. That’s a 25 percent net employment outlook, compared to a 23 percent outlook going into the fourth quarter a year ago. The outlook was 17 percent going into this year’s third quarter.
Christopher Westley, a professor of economists who directs FGCU’s Regional Economic Research Institute, found the Manpower results “extremely interesting.”
“This has been a busier summer than previous summers, and it really suggests that the local economy is gearing up for a very busy season,” he said. “It’s another indication, at least for now, that the region is turning the corner from recovering from the recession to getting into real growth.”
Jim Wall, spokesman for CareerSource Southwest Florida, viewed the survey news with optimism and a dash of caution because he has seen boom times turn to bust.
“This is all a good sign, but for those of us who have been down here a while, there seems to be some kind of cautionary note,” he said. “This is showing strong confidence that our economy will continue to grow.”
Wages in Southwest Florida, Wall said, are a key component of the economy to keep an eye on.
“Wages are still lagging, and I think we will see an increase in wages yet this year or by the first quarter of next year, or I start to see some real issues with workforce housing, which is different than affordable housing,” he said.
Click on the following link for the entire article by New pess writer Casey Logan: Cape Coral-Fort Myers employment outlook