Forbes: Orlando is 13th fastest-growing city in U.S.

Local economists predict jobs expansion

800px-Tower_crane,_close-upAccording to Forbes’ 2015 rankings, the City Beautiful is the 13th fastest-growing city in the nation.

Orlando is in the top 20 cities that expanded the fastest, and is the highest-ranked Florida city, along with West Palm Beach which is the only other Sunshine State entry on the list, coming in at No. 19. Forbes measured the top 100 most populous metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S. based on local population and economy, by using six metrics: population growth for 2014 and 2015, year-over-year job growth for the last year, gross metro product growth, federal unemployment data and median annual pay for college-educated workers in each area.

Texas has five spots in this year’s top 10 rankings, the most of any other state: Houston, Austin and Dallas on the first three positions, followed by Fort Worth 8th and San Antonio 10th, due to strong population growth and unemployment levels under 5%.

According to a Brookings Institution Economic Performance measurement, released only a week ago, from 2013 to 2014 Orlando increased its employment by 3.5 percent, which is above the national average of 1.2 percent. In addition, Orlando has a Gross Domestic Product increase of 0.1 percent in the same period. Nevertheless, Orlando is marked as having only “partially recovered from the recession”.

Despite all this, some economic forecasts predict that the unemployment will continue to drop at recent rates; local economists say about 5 percent by the end of the year, which is considered normal. In terms of percentage of total jobs being added, Orlando is the fastest-growing metro area in the Sunshine State for jobs and keeps on developing major projects, attracting new companies and a great number of tourists.