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Jacksonville rises to the 2nd hottest job market in the U.S. according to new analysis

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Bold City is climbing the ranks, coming in at number two in the nation for hottest job markets according to a new analysis by the Wall Street Journal and Moody Analytics.

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Jacksonville has been improving in the ranks for three years running now, after coming in 5th in 2021 and 3rd in 2022.

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In 2023, only Salt Lake City outranked Jacksonville.

The analysis looked at 380 large cities in total.

The report cites the continual relocation of companies to the Jacksonville region and employers offering more competitive wages as part of the driving force behind the city’s ranking.

Aundra Wallace, President of the JAXUSA Partnership division of the JAX Chamber, said the job market in Jacksonville isn’t only booming at the top.

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He noted workers all the way down the economic ladder have benefited from corporate relocations.

“Look back to 2023, we brought in directly 2,500 new jobs. It also had the spinoff of 2,600 additional jobs. So, for every direct job there’s also indirect jobs coming in,” said Wallace.

Kyle Baltuch with the Florida Chamber Foundation added Jacksonville’s geographic location and its port also make it highly attractive to businesses and workers alike.

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“When you look at some of those 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,” said Baltuch.

Jacksonville wasn’t the only Florida city to perform well on the 2023 rankings.

Orlando, Tampa and Miami also earned a spot on the top ten list.

Baltuch pointed out Florida is also seeing the nation’s highest rate of in-migration, thanks in-part to its business-friendly tax environment and strong higher education system, which is ranked number one in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Wallace added Jacksonville’s in-migration is among the highest in Florida due to its lower cost of living compared to other major metropolitan areas.

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He predicted Jacksonville will continue rising up the ranks, thanks to the region’s strong K-12 school systems, higher education institutions and military community.

“You’ve got great employable individuals right here in the Jacksonville region and that’s why people are looking at us,” said Wallace.

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