OPINION

Guest opinion: Illuminating Collier County's economy

Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce
Special to the Naples Daily News

In the past couple of years there has been a paramount change in the economy and the way in which businesses operate. In Collier County consumers, business owners and employees have adapted to changes stemming from labor shortages, increased population growth and supply chain disruptions and realized opportunities to adopt new protocols and systems to adjust in this new environment.

At the Greater Naples Chamber, we understand data is essential to making informed business decisions. Through our access to software and connections with research partners throughout the region, state and beyond, the following are some essential data points for our economy.

The top posted occupations and workforce highlights

There have been 21,763 unique job postings in Collier County from January 2022 through June 2022. The top posted occupations are Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations; Office and Administrative Support Occupations; Sales and Related Occupation; and Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations. The unemployment rate in Collier County was 2.1% in May of 2022 with 4,157 people unemployed as of March. Typically, comparing job posting analytics with the number of unemployed persons results in more jobs than workers.

Taxable Sales

Taxable sales in Collier County totaled $1,440,266,820 in March 2022. Industries with the highest taxable sales in March of 2022 (reported in April of 2022) were Hotel/Motel Accommodations, Rooming Houses (Air BNB, VRBO), Camps & Other Lodging Places; General Miscellaneous Merchandise Stores; Restaurants, Lunchrooms, Catering Services; Automotive Dealers (Sale & Lease), Tag Agencies & Tax Collectors; and Apparel & Accessory Stores. This is a contrast to previous years in the height of the pandemic when Lumber and Other Building Materials and Lease or Rental of Commercial Real Property were in the top five, showing a shift in consumption patterns over time.

Collier County Taxable Sales March 2022.

Net Commuters

Businesses across the board are facing labor shortages and increasingly looking into remote work opportunities and other unique adjustments to fill positions. This includes looking to neighboring counties to recruit workers. Based on a 2021 dataset, the top five counties that have inbound commuters to Collier County are Lee, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Charlotte.

Interestingly, the data notes that Collier County has negative net commuters to Broward (-842) and Palm Beach (-1,087), meaning more residents in Collier County are commuting to those counties to work versus workers in those counties coming to Collier County for work.

Business Formation Statistics

Business Formation Statistics (BFS) in Collier County as reported by the U.S. Census reached 9,536 in 2021, a 34.7 percent increase from 2020 and a roughly 62 percent increase from 2019. BFS data cover Employer Identification Number (EIN) applications made in the United States, including those associated with starting a new employer business.  

As many companies look to flee highly regulated and taxed states, Florida is an attractive option. Likewise, businesses within certain industries, particularly service-related industries, are interested in following where the population growth and migration is happening. It is no surprise that our area has seen this tremendous growth in business starts. 

Want access to economic data? Reach out to us at the Chamber at info@napleschamber.org for custom reports including wage data drilled down to specific occupations, demographic information, workforce availability and more. You can also visit the Regional Economic Research Institute at Florida Gulf Coast University at fgcu.edu/cob/reri/ or the Florida Scorecard at thefloridascorecard.org.