Florida spent $18 million to attract business to the
state in 2012. Boasting the fifth best business tax climate, according to the non-partisan Tax Foundation, Florida has enjoyed a steady increase in labor force and residents since the year 2000, however, most of those new jobs come with low wages.
"We have high rates of job growth over the past two
In 2012, only Texas had more workers than Florida with earnings at or below the federal minimum wage; of those workers women were twice as likely as men to earn below the minimum wage with men earning on average $6,362 more than women.
"The challenge in Florida is good jobs at good wages," said
As wages have fallen, the report from FIU finds even more troubling news for working Floridians. The report found consumer prices up 33 percent since 2000, with housing prices increasing 30 percent in the same time period. Transportation costs in the state since 2000 have increased by more than 40 percent while in the same time state spending on transportation has decreased by 14 percent.
Poverty in the state has also increased. In 2011, according to FIU, 22.6 percent of Floridians were at or near the poverty line. From 2007 to 2011 poverty in Florida increased by 46 percent with more than 1 million Floridians
Critics say the state's spending on jobs has not been targeted at
"When you go and look at the data, the jobs just aren't coming," says Dan Krassner of state watchdog group Integrity Florida.
Integrity Florida has been highly critical of the state's use of incentives to attract businesses to Florida. The group says for the millions of dollars the state has pumped into
Perhaps most troubling in the FIU report is the declining number of people engaged in the labor market. According to the report, labor force participation has decreased by 3.8 percent since 2000. With a smaller section of the population willing to work, consumer spending, consumption, is adversely impacted. The report says if Florida's declining wages continue, the state can expect slow economic growth for years to come.
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