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Naples Ranked First in Expected Job Growth

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Naples is number one in expected job growth through 2016. That’s out of 200 of the largest metro areas in the country.

The prediction comes from a study by Forbes Magazine using data from Moody’s Analytics.

Naples is expected to grow jobs at an annual rate of 4.1 percent through 2016.

Jeet Dutta, a senior economist from Moody’s Analytics who covers Naples, said the city had one of the highest population growth rates in the nation before the housing market went bust.

But now, the housing market is normalizing nationwide, and more retirees are selling their homes and heading to Florida.

Dutta said this return to the normal “migration pattern” for Naples means a shot-in-the-arm for construction and retail-related jobs.

“There’s going to be a lot of new construction and construction generates a lot of jobs,” he said. “And in the retail segment a lot of it is directed toward spending that is housing related so that retail segment is going to be boosted.”

Dutta said the leisure and hospitality industry is also key when it comes to jobs in Naples as it employs about 20 percent of the city’s workers.

Forbesranked Austin, Texas second in fastest expected job growth. Other Florida locales in the top 10 include Cape Coral and Port St. Lucie.

Topher is a reporter at WGCU News.