The metro-Orlando region officially ranks as the lowest-paying job market among the 50 largest metropolitan cities across America. Dead last.
This is the latest round of facts and figures showing the real struggles of Orlando. It also shows the continued failure of the facade our local leaders have put up about the state of our local economy. Not nearly enough has been done to offset larger trends in the labor market in our community. According to the Orlando Sentinel’s analysis, “Metro Orlando also has the largest share of jobs — 37 percent — paying less than $25,000 a year. That’s nearly twice the rate of Las Vegas, another city built on tourism.”
University of Florida economist Jim Dewey said Orlando is caught in a national trend called “income polarization.” Middle-income jobs have disappeared, and workers are struggling to find new jobs with comparable salaries. “It puts more workers at the lower end, as the middle empties out,” Dewey told the Sentinel.
Average annual income in Orlando is around $29,450/year. As a reminder, the median household income of Orlando’s historic Parramore neighborhood stands around $13,000/year according to census numbers.
According to the analysis, low median pay isn’t new to Orlando: in 2002 and 2007, before the recession hit, Orlando ranked 49th among the top 50 metro areas.