Florida retailers added 55,000 jobs from December 2012 to December 2013, an annual growth rate of 5.5 percent, according to the January release of employment numbers from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the Florida Retail Federation said Tuesday.
Retail trade accounted for nearly a third of the 192,900 jobs created in Florida in 2013, and topped the statewide job growth rate of 2.6 percent, the organization said. The growth of retail in Florida has fueled an increase in sales tax collections, which account for $21 billion of the state budget.
South Florida was the largest contributor to new jobs, said Florida Retail Federation spokesman John Fleming. Of the 55,000 new jobs, 21,000 were in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, he said.