By: Mariel Carbone | WCTV Eyewitness News
Courtesy: Birds Eye UAS
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — Tallahassee city leaders touted the latest economic numbers at their annual retreat Wednesday, saying all indicators are pointing in a positive direction.
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Tallahassee has the fastest growing GDP in the state of Florida. It’s
also out-pacing the state and the nation in growth.
"There’s a lot to get excited about," said Al Latimer, CEO of the Office of Economic Vitality. "It’s a proud time for Tallahassee and a great time to celebrate."
According to OEV, employment is up about 1.5 percent from last year, the labor force is up about .5 percent, new single family construction permits are up 55.3 percent and tourism is up 5.3 percent.
Plus passenger travel is up 7.3 percent and mortgage foreclosures are down 9.2 percent.
All of these factors, and more, affect the local economy. However, Latimer said the main contributor to the growing economy is recent private sector investment.
"That is good news. For a long long time Tallahassee has been seen as a government town. And the private sector is making stronger and stronger contributions to our future economic growth," he said.
Currently there are 95 projects in different phases of development occurring throughout Tallahassee. Those range from student housing, to grocery stores, residential development and more, and include Hotel Indigo, Railyard Lofts, Welaunee and more.
"Much of the projects that have been underway, much of the growth that has happened, has been right here in the City of Tallahassee. It’s not been dependent on what the state has done,or anybody else. It’s been dependent on what we’ve done here as a community and I think that’s the best kind of growth you can ask for," said Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.
The growth is also driven by businesses that have chosen to expand in Tallahassee, including Danfoss and Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.