Florida is home to more than 4.2 million Hispanics who represent 23% of the state population. However, nearly 1 in 5 Hispanics in the Sunshine State lives in poverty. Growing government debt and regulations are hindering real economic growth, job creation, and overall well-being.
Working in Florida
In 2012, Hispanic Floridians experienced an unemployment rate of 9.4%, higher than the national rate of 8.1%. Hispanic median household income has continued to decrease in the state from $44,569 in 2009, to $40,860 in 2012- earning $12,186 less than the national income level.
Doing Business in Florida
While Florida is poised for growth, local efforts to boost the state economy are burdened by federal overregulation and taxation that jeopardize its economy and ability to attract new businesses. In 2013, the estimated cost of federal regulations on the economy was $112 billion. At the state level, Florida experienced a 1.9% job growth, and currently ranks 22nd in the nation for doing business.
Healthcare in Florida
For Hispanics in Florida, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is resulting in higher insurance costs and less access to healthcare. The law especially burdens young Hispanic Floridians. For example, monthly premiums for a 27 year-old are estimated to grow by nearly 75% in 2014 under the ACA exchanges, increasing costs from $151 to $264 each month. With a median age of 34, Hispanics in the state are a young demographic disproportionately affected by this law.
Immigration in Florida
There is no denying the positive impact that immigrants have on the local economy. Florida is home to 7 of the 10 largest Hispanic-owned businesses in the country. What’s more, these companies support over 22,000 jobs and generated more than $15 billion in revenues in 2012. LIBRE believes that the best path forward to reform the broken immigration system in the United States is through a market-based and employment-driven policy.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; Bureau of Labor Statistics; Tax Foundation; American Action Forum; Forbes; The Heritage Foundation; and Hispanic Business, Inc.