SECOND QUARTER, 2019 • Vol. 4, No. 2
The FGCU Industry Diversification Index for the Southwest Florida workforce region—comprising Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee counties—fell in the fourth quarter of 2018, indicating an decrease in workforce diversification for that time period. The workforce region’s IDI measured 8.555, a decrease from the 3rd quarter of 2018 (measured at 8.658), but still above the 4th quarter of 2017 (measured at 8.488). The IDI’s fall resulted in a decline in the rankings, registering as the 7th most diversified workforce region in the state (out of 24 total regions). The index registers between 0 and 10, with 0 being the least diversified, and 10 being the most diversified.
The decrease in industry diversification for Southwest Florida follows the usual trend for this quarter. Southwest Florida typically experiences higher index measures during the quarters spanning April through September, and lower index measures during the quarters spanning October through March. The lower index measures, expected during the winter period, can be attributed to an influx of tourism and seasonal residents, which leads to an increase in demand for both the retail trade and accommodation and food service industries to meet the seasonal demand. When the winter period ends and seasonal residents leave the region, the demand for both of these industries contracts, leading to a more diverse economy during the spring and summer period.
The Cape Coral-Fort Myers IDI rose in the 4th quarter of 2018, registering at 8.539. This was a decrease from the 3rd quarter of 2018 (measured at 8.652), but an improvement from the 4th quarter of 2017 (measured at 8.501). The MSA did not move in the rankings, remaining as the 5th most diversified MSA in the state, out of 22 total MSAs in Florida.
The Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island IDI decreased in the 4th quarter of 2018, with an IDI of 8.742—a decline from the 3rd quarter of 2018 (measured at 8.836), but higher than the 4th quarter of 2017 (measured at 8.678). Nonetheless, the Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island MSA did not move in the rankings, remaining as the most diversified MSA in the state for the quarter.
The Punta Gorda IDI declined in the 4th quarter of 2018 to 7.378, down from the 3rd quarter 2018 measure (7.470), but nearly unchanged from the 4th quarter 2017 measure (7.377). The decrease resulted in a drop in the rankings for the Punta Gorda MSA, registering 22nd in the state of Florida (out of 22 MSAs in total).
Florida’s workforce experienced a slight decrease in industry diversification in the 4th quarter of 2018, while improving in the rankings nationally. Florida’s IDI measured at 8.623, a decrease from the 3rd quarter of 2018 (measured at 8.627), but above the 4th quarter of 2017 (measured at 8.567). Despite the quarterly decline, Florida’s ranking among the states improved three spots to 18th, behind Washington (8.626) and ahead of Louisiana (8.616). The state continues to rank in the bottom of the Southeast Region, which contains five of the top 10 states with the highest IDIs in the United States.
Nationally, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee had the three highest IDI measures, while Rhode Island, Alaska, and Nevada had the three lowest IDI measures. The IDI for the United States was 8.648.