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Exploring the Current State of Southwest Florida's Workforce


Florida’s unemployment rate is currently around a low 3.7 percent, that’s a drop of more than 7 percent since the end of 2010 at the peak of the economic downturn. But how well is southwest Florida’s workforce positioned moving forward? On today’s show, we’re going to dig into the 6th annual Southwest Florida Workforce study, conducted annually by Workforce Now, that’s a research initiative that studies the regional workforce. It’s comprised of researchers from Florida Gulf Coast University, Hodges University, and Florida SouthWestern State College. The Workforce Study provides an overview of key information about local industries, occupations, employments gaps and projected job growth. It looks at things like which Southwest Florida occupations have the largest gaps between the number of workers demanded by employers and the available supply in the labor market? We’re joined today by two of the researchers behind the study: Dr. Christopher Westley is Professor of Economics, and Director, Regional Economic Research Institute at Florida Gulf Coast University, and Dr. Aysegul Timur is dean of the Johnson School of Business at Hodges University.