Enterprise Florida: Defense industry increasing spending in the state

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The defense industry in Florida is growing according to a new report commissioned by Enterprise Florida and CareerSource Florida.

Gov. Rick Scott announced that Florida’s defense industry had a $79.8 billion economic impact in Florida in 2014, according to a report  This is a $6.4 billion, or 8.7 percent, increase from 2011 and ranks the defense industry as the fourth largest industry in Florida. The ‘Economic Impact of Defense Activities in Florida’ study revealed continued strong, positive economic growth in Florida’s defense industry despite continuing declines in federal defense spending.

“Despite declining help from the federal government, Florida’s defense industry employed nearly 775,000 Floridians and had a $79.8 billion impact on our state,” Scott said. “This success includes Enterprise Florida’s work to attract and retain companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin, both of which have recently announced plans to create hundreds of new jobs for Florida families. Florida’s defense industry helps diversify our economy and ensure jobs are available for the Floridians who need them, which is yet another reason we will work with the legislature to fully fund Enterprise Florida in the upcoming legislative session.”

Florida is home to 20 major military installations and three Unified Combatant Commands, as well as more than 60,000 active military personnel. The $79.8 billion total impact of defense activities across Florida in 2014 accounted for 9.5 percent of Florida’s total economic output, and employed nearly 775,000 Floridians. These numbers indicate that defense, behind agriculture, health care and tourism, ranks as the fourth largest industry existing in Florida’s economy. The study examined the economic impacts associated with military service members, Department of Defense civilians and contractors, base operations and procurement, veterans and retirees.

Bill Johnson, president and CEO of Enterprise Florida said, “Florida’s defense industry now ranks as the fourth largest industry in our state, with a $79.8 billion impact last year alone. This is great news, and I look forward to working with the governor and legislature to diversify our economy and keep Florida the most military friendly state in the country.”

Image courtesy of Enterprise Florida

Source: Gov. Rick Scott

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Dean Anderson

Based in Rome, Dean Anderson is an awarding-winning freelance journalist with 23 years of experience as a writer and photographer. Dean is a freelance contributor for a number of publications including the Associated Press. He enjoys spending his free time traveling Europe w...