Looking for a STEM job? The Tampa Bay region is might just be the place to be.
The Tampa area led the state in demand for high-skill, high-wage STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) occupations in December. The area had 14,673 openings in December, according to the Governor’s Office.
The region also led the state in job demand during the one-month period, with 45,632 job openings.
“Tampa businesses created 29,100 new jobs in 2016 and the area remains first in the state for online job demand and job openings in high-wage STEM occupations. This is great news for Tampa families,” said Gov. Rick Scott in a statement. “We want Florida to become the top destination for business growth and new opportunities, and we will continue to do all we can to help Florida compete in the global economy.”
The Tampa area had an unemployment rate of 4.5 percent in December, slightly below the statewide unemployment rate of 4.9 percent. Scott touted statewide job gains in the past year, boasting boasting Florida businesses created 237,300 private sector jobs in 2016.
“Over the last six years, we’ve worked each day to make it easier for job creators to invest and create new opportunities in our state, and we will continue to do everything we can to help Florida out compete other locations as the best place for jobs,” he said.
Scott typically makes the monthly jobs announcement during a press conference, but the Naples Republican was in Washington, D.C. on Friday for the inauguration of Donald Trump.
“Today, as we proudly welcome a new president who will make job creation a top priority across our nation, we stand ready to fight for another great year of economic growth in Florida,” he said.
According to the Department of Economic Opportunity, Florida’s job growth has exceeded the nation’s rate since 2012. The agency reported December was the 77th consecutive month with “positive over-the-year growth.”
The leisure and hospitality industry continues to make the most gains, growing by 4.6 percent year-over-year.
“With more than 250,000 job openings across the state and more than 1.25 million new private-sector jobs created in the last six years, it’s clear Florida is a great place to find a good job,” said Cissy Proctor, the executive director of Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, in a statement. “Our low unemployment rate and strong record of job creation prove Florida is a great state to do business.”