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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


FGCU Regional Economic Research Institute Releases Latest Industry Diversification Report (of Southwest Florida and the State of Florida)

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island metropolitan statistical area (MSA) had the most diverse workforce in the state of Florida, according to a quarterly report issued by Florida Gulf Coast University's Industry Diversification Project. The report - which was released in December - shows the MSA improved from the 6th most diverse MSA in the state to the 1st, from the second quarter of 2015 to the second quarter of 2016.

There is a total of 22 MSAs in the state. The other two MSAs in Southwest Florida - Cape Coral-Fort Myers and Punta Gorda - ranked 8th and 18th respectively during the same quarter.

The Southwest Florida workforce region also experienced an increase in industry diversification, going from the 11th most diverse region in the state (out of 24 workforce regions) to the 10th, from the second quarter of 2015 to the second quarter of 2016.

The improvement in workforce diversification is expected during the summer, according to Project Director Christopher Westley, who runs FGCU's Regional Economic Research Institute. "As the seasonal residents leave Southwest Florida and make their way home, we see a decrease in many seasonal jobs," Westley said. "Since these industries tend to dominate our workforce in general, their being scaled back causes the labor market not to depend on them as much. It becomes more diversified as a result."

Diversification is expected to lower again during the winter season, when the seasonal residents return and the demand for those same jobs increases again, Westley said.

Across Florida, Tampa Bay ranked as the most diversified workforce region. North Florida, which comprises Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Hamilton, Suwannee, and Lafayette counties, ranked last.

Labor market data for the third quarter of 2016 will be released this spring. More information is available at

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