Today, Miami’s economy appears far healthier than at any time during the past five years. At 5.5%, the local unemployment rate stands at less than half the level observed in 2011. Total employment within Miami-Dade County increased by more than 5% between 2013 and 2015, outperforming all examined benchmark communities.
Seven target industries in particular have fueled Miami’s renewed economic vibrancy: Creative, Life Sciences, Hospitality, Aviation, Logistics, IT and Banking. Target industries are important because they bring additional revenue into the community, which in turn supports increased business activity, new income, additional residents and heightened capital investment. Since 2010, these target industries have collectively created nearly 45,000 jobs, representing more than 1 in every 3 jobs created within the community.
Unfortunately, many Miami-Dade County residents have not benefited from the community’s resurgent economy.
At less than $44,000, median household income remains less than all benchmark communities. Between 2011 and 2015, median household growth trailed all other benchmark communities. Additionally, Miami’s poverty rate ranks highest among benchmark communities. Between 2011 and 2015, economic inequity within Miami-Dade County increased faster than Chicago, Houston, New York City and San Diego.
The improved economic condition has also impacted the region’s existing issues of affordability. Miami’s cost of living continues to rise, and the average construction cost of new homes has soared in recent years. While home prices have fallen slightly, housing remains unaffordable for many residents.
Notable improvements in areas such as education and health care have accompanied Miami’s economic vitality. In 2015, for example, Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ fourth graders outperformed the national average on measures of math and reading proficiency. Students in Greater Miami are more likely to attend magnet school programs than their peers in Chicago, Houston, New York City and San Diego.
Recent high school graduates are also more likely to pursue post-secondary educational opportunities than their counterparts in the rest of Florida and the United States. Miami-Dade County also experienced a positive trend in health care. While the county’s population increased by more than 200,000 between 2010 and 2015, the number of uninsured residents fell by nearly 300,000, which, in part, can be attributed to the Affordable Care Act.