Jacksonville Named Country’s 2nd Hottest Job Market, Growing Area Logistics Industry

A recent analysis from the Wall Street Journal and Moody Analytics placed Jacksonville, FL in second place for hottest job market in the nation. Due to an influx of corporations relocating to the River City, bringing new jobs with competitive wages, the city’s growing in popularity. Our geographic location as well as the port play key roles in these moves, which is adding opportunities specifically within the logistics and transportation industry. According to Kyle Baltuch of the Florida Chamber Foundation, a facet of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, as cited in a recent article posted by Action News Jax,  “When you look at some of [the] comparative advantages like transportation, you look at some of those comparative advantages like being able to get a shipping container straight onto the Atlantic immediately, that’s a value and that’s something that businesses are talking about.” That being said, let’s dive into some of the specifics regarding industry growth and why we can expect it to continue.

The First Coast provides a multitude of communities within itself, spanning several counties, all with marked educational benefits. While each county has its own ranking, our overall school system remains strong, inviting families and laying an excellent foundation for college success. In addition to primary education, Jacksonville is home to several accredited state and private colleges that provide a multitude of degrees for transportation and logistics, supply chain management, etc. Florida State College at Jacksonville and the University of North Florida are just two of the major institutions offering such programs (see the links for specific degree information). Though educational fortitude is not a new indicator on its own, the increase in industry-specific programs of study in recent years, based on the growing area demand, should be noted as a reason for the uptick in the city’s job market. The more corporations transition to Jacksonville, the greater the need for educated, talented employer/employee prospects with applicable skills and qualifications.

Shifts in global supply chain and trade flows continue to reshape the transportation and logistics industry, post pandemic. That massive interruption, as well as weather events and geopolitical disturbances, highlight the need for diversification and the importance of maintaining and growing Florida’s manufacturing and logistics sectors. Indirectly,  placing a heavier demand for services based around Jacksonville’s port and geographic location. According to the article, “Florida Trade & Logistics 2030 Study Sets the Course for Florida’s Continued Leadership in Trade, Logistics, Exported-Oriented Manufacturing Activities, and Rural Economic Growth,” Florida Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Mark Wison states, “Purposely expanding manufacturing, logistics, trade, and rural economic growth aligns with Governor DeSantis’ continued leadership in this space and will help grow Florida to the 10th largest global economy by 2030. We have a generational opportunity to get this right.”

All this in tow, opportunities – including logistics-focused positions – within Jacksonville’s hot job market are noteworthy. According to Aundra Wallace, President of the JAXUSA Partnership division of the JAX Chamber (as cited in the referenced Action News Jax article above), commented, “the job market in Jacksonville isn’t only booming at the top. Look[ing] back to 2023, we brought in directly 2,500 new jobs. It also had the spin-off of 2,600 additional jobs. So, for every direct job there’s also indirect jobs coming in.” As Jacksovnille’s hot job market continues to bolster, so too does its need for housing. The article, “Industrial Growth Leads to Residential Boom in North Jacksonville” does an excellent job in displaying how industry jobs trigger “indirect” jobs and area economic dilation.

While not all of those jobs referenced above were specific to logistics, some of the areas we can expect to see mentionable growth are in warehousing, exports, and overland transport. Recent announcements that will bring hundreds of logistics-focused jobs to the area include, as found in the Jacksonville Business Journal, The Anderson-DuBose Company, Inc. expansion, which will invest $60 million into building a new Jacksonville facility to service more than 300 McDonald’s and Chipotle locations via “developing a 160,000-square-foot, rail-served ambient and cold-storage distribution facility.” Also, Publix Supermarkets, Inc. just announced, as published in this April 3rd article by the Jacksonville Daily Record, the addition of a 300,000-square-foot frozen foods warehouse to it’s westside property, slated to open in 2027, that will provide 150 new jobs at approximately $7.5 million in payroll by 2026 year end. The Tom Bush Family of Dealerships has also announced this month that it plans to open a 15,000+-square-foot parts warehouse near the Regency Square Mall.

Though we didn’t need a study to illuminate the influx of corporate relocations and its accompanying job-market upsurge, highlighting the area’s hottest opportunities – especially those in logistics and transportation – precipitates prosperity. The benefits of a bolstered economy are ever expanding and further strengthen solid placement for Jacksonville as a leader in logistics and hub for global trade. And progress is good.

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