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Food and Resource Economics Department

Food and Resource Economics Department

Economic Contributions of the Agriculture, Natural Resource, and Food Industries in Florida in 2018


Collectively, the agriculture, natural resources, and food industries are significant contributors to the economy of the State of Florida. The economic contributions of these industries were evaluated for calendar year 2018 to update previous reports from the Economic Impact Analysis Program and to provide the most recent information for the purpose of informed public policy.

Licensed IMPLAN© regional economic modeling software and associated Florida state and county databases (IMPLAN© Group LLC) for 2018 were used to estimate the total economic contributions of selected industry sectors associated with agriculture, natural resources, and the broader food system. Analyses of this type capture not only the direct economic activity occurring within these industries, but the indirect activity supported throughout the regional economy via supply chain relationships and induced activity supported by the re-spending of household income. This analysis includes 120 industry sectors that represent the broad array of activities encompassed by commodity production, manufacturing, distribution, and supporting services associated with agriculture and food as well as natural-resources management. Economic contributions are measured in terms of employment, industry output, value added, exports, labor income, other property income, and business taxes.

The overall economic contributions of Florida’s agriculture, natural resources, and food industries in 2018 include:

  • Direct employment of 1.72 million full-time and part-time jobs, and total employment contributions (including multiplier effects in other sectors) of 2.42 million jobs, representing 19.9 percent of the state workforce.
  • Direct industry output or sales revenues of $175.08 billion, and total output contributions of $296.29 billion.
  • Foreign and domestic exports of $38.88 billion that bring new money into the Florida economy.
  • Total value added contributions of $149.57 billion, representing 14.5 percent of Gross State Product (equivalent to Gross Domestic Product).
  • Total labor income contributions of $91.07 billion, which includes employee wages, fringe benefits, and proprietor income.
  • Total other property income contributions of $43.69 billion representing rents, dividends, interest, royalties, etc.
  • Total local, state and federal government tax contribu­tions on production and imports of $14.82 billion.

Across the various industry groups, total employment and value added contributions were largest for:

  • Food and kindred products distribution (1.72 million jobs; $101.39 billion), which includes food service establishments and retail food stores.
  • Agricultural inputs and services (244,079 jobs; $13.44 billion),
  • Crop, livestock, forestry, and fisheries production (167,878 jobs; $8.63 billion),
  • Food and kindred product manufacturing (139,951 jobs; $14.28 billion),
  • Mining (64,841 jobs; $4.99 billion),
  • Forest product manufacturing (47,891 jobs; $5.23 billion), and
  • Nature-based recreation – golf courses (34,650 jobs; $1.60 billion).

Excluding the Food and kindred products distribution industry group, the total value-added contributions were $48.18 billion (4.7% of Gross State Product), and the employment contributions were 699,289 jobs (5.8% of state workforce).

Geographically, the size and composition of agriculture, natural resources, and food industries varies dramatically across the state of Florida due to differences in climate, natural resource endowments, population, and settlement patterns. The largest economic contributions occur in the major metropolitan areas of Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Bradenton, and Jacksonville, where there are large demands for food and kindred products, and a large workforce available. The seven largest counties in terms of total employment and value added contributions were Miami-Dade (284,970 jobs; $20.56 billion), Orange (210,216 jobs; $13.46 billion), Broward (189,694 jobs; $11.92 billion), Palm Beach (190,808 jobs; $15.08 billion), Hillsborough (174,709 jobs; $11.35 billion), Duval (116,987 jobs; $8.47 billion) and Pinellas (102,441 jobs; $5.72 billion), as mapped in Figure ES2.

During the ten year period of 2009 to 2018, direct employment in Florida’s agriculture, natural resources, and food industries increased by 34.9 percent, or an average annual rate of 3.9 percent (9 years change), and total value added contributions grew by 24.6 percent, or 2.7 percent annually, in inflation adjusted terms. Growth in total employment contributions during this period was highest for Mining (117.6%), Food and kindred products manufacturing (40.6%), Food and kindred products distribution (37.6%), Nature-based recreation (34.5%), Forest products manufacturing (23.1%) and Agricultural inputs and services (22.2%), while employment contributions remained nearly the same in Crop, livestock, forestry and fisheries production (0.6%) due to changes in labor markets and automation technology.

2018 Economic Contributions Ag - Natural Resource - Food Industries

Suggested Citation: Court, Christa D. and J. Ferreira. “Economic Contributions of Agriculture, Natural Resource, and Food Industries in  Florida in 2018.” Economic Impact Analysis Program, University of Florida-IFAS, Food & Resource Economics Department, Gainesville, FL, May 2020.