The state famously has no personal-income tax, and its banking and finance industries are booming.
More and more workers are migrating to Florida during the pandemic — and the
sunny climate isn't the only reason.
Top companies are opening new offices in the state, and the rise in remote working
is giving staff more freedom to choose where they want to live.
Florida's population increased by 2.7 million — or 14.6% — between 2010 and
2020, according to US Census data. This is double the rate of overall US
"It's not just retirees – it's tech workers leaving San Francisco," John Boyd, the CEO of The Boyd Company, said.
Businesses are gathering to Florida
"Florida certainly has a winning formula for business attraction," Boyd told
In particular, Florida is becoming a hotspot for banking and financial services,
while Miami is as emerging as "one of the hottest new tech hubs in North
America today," he said.
Hedge fund Elliott Management is moving its headquarters to West Palm Beach,
private-equity firm Blackstone plans to open an office in Miami, and Goldman
Sachs is considering the state for its asset management division. Even Subway is
shifting some business units to Miami.
Average salaries are climbing
As these businesses open offices in Florida, the job-market in the state is
Andrew Hunter, co-founder of job search engine Adzuna, told Insider Florida's
job vacancies are back at pre-pandemic levels and the number of unemployed is
reaching record lows while average city salaries are climbing.
The number of financial-services employees in Florida has almost returned to
pre-pandemic levels with nearly 600,000 people working in the sector. New
York is rebounding much slower, and still has around 30,000
fewer employees in the sector than it did in early 2020, according to data from
the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
And it's not just finance and tech workers who are benefitting from Florida's
growing economy. The state is also hiking up its minimum wage to $15 per
hour by 2026, too.
Working remotely gives people more freedom
The rise of remote working has also made it easier for workers to relocate
independently of their employers.
Boyd said that the pandemic has created "a time of historic mobility for both
companies and people." Companies are increasingly letting staff work from home
on a permanent basis, which allows them to save on real estate costs, he said
Florida has a pro-business environment
Florida famously doesn't have a personal income tax, and this is one of the major
motivators for migration, Boyd told Insider. He added that many people moving
to the state come from high-tax states that don't have such a pro-business
environment, like Connecticut and New Jersey, as well as New York, which
recently announced plans to bump up its income-tax rates for its wealthiest
"And the other part of all this is, you know, economic development really comes
down to leadership," Boyd said.
"Governor DeSantis is a good salesman-in-chief of the state of Florida," he said.
He added that Miami Mayor Francis Suarez was positioning the city as a major
"Most executives will go take a swim in the beach before they even go to work," BDB's Smallridge said. "And, you know, they never have to shovel snow and they don't have to ride with the subway."
Scherbich said that, alongside work opportunities, the climate was part of her
reason for migrating. She added that she's settled into the city well and that it
has a large UK expatriate community.
Housing and living costs are lower than New York
House prices have gone up around 10% over the past year as more people move
to the state, but Florida still has a "very attractive" real-estate market compared
to some other major markets in the US, Boyd said, adding that there are
affordable housing options "in virtually all parts of Florida."
The average price for a house in Florida is $277,429, rising to $323,094 in Palm
Beach County and $407,245 in Miami, according to data from Zillow. In New
York, in comparison, average house prices are $323,094 for the state and
$649,490 for the city.
And it isn't just houses that cost less in the Sunshine Site. Overall living costs in
Orlando are 6% lower than the US average, Barnes said.
Florida's transport networks are growing
There are a lot of transport developments in the pipeline for Florida, too, Boyd
said. This includes Brightline, a rail system with investments from Richard
Branson's Virgin, which connects Miami to West Palm Beach, with expansion
plans Orlando and Tampa.
And North Miami Beach official told Insider's Grace Kay the city is in early talks
with Elon Musk's The Boring Company over a viable plan to build a one- to
two-mile tunnel to tackle congestion.