Market Commentaries are a series of timely analyses produced by the Orlando Economic Partnership’s Market Intelligence team. Commentaries are typically associated with a major data release or cover areas key to advancing the Partnership’s goal of Broad-based Prosperity®.

Revised estimates suggest the Orlando region added 42,200 jobs in 2023. 
The gain represents a return to pre-pandemic trends, ending a period of record-breaking but unsustainable job growth.
The region’s ongoing job growth creates the opportunity to advance Broad-based Prosperity, yet greater intentionality is needed.  

Orlando’s job growth was more pronounced in 2023 than previously estimated, according to revised data released earlier this week by the Florida Department of Commerce.  The region added 42,200 jobs in the 12 months ending December 2023, a significant increase from the 27,100 originally reported. Employment estimates are benchmarked annually based on more complete input data – a process designed to improve the accuracy of the estimates.

Back to the Future

Orlando averaged 44,300 new jobs per year in the 5-year period leading up to the pandemic (2015-2019). Therefore, the 42,200 new jobs added in 2023 represent a return to pre-pandemic trends – even if it pales in comparison to the 80,900 added in 2022.

The new numbers equate to an average of 116 new jobs per day in 2023, with all major industries participating. Healthcare and the region’s headline tourism industry were again key contributors - adding 9,300 and 9,100 jobs, respectively, or approximately 25 new jobs each daily. 

The revised data confirms Orlando’s position as one of the country’s leading regional job engines, as highlighted by the Wall Street Journal just last week. Year-over-year employment growth in 2023 was revised up to 2.9 percent, making Orlando the seventh fastest-growing of the 30 most populous regions in the country in 2023.  Job growth slowed from 2022 in all but two regions (St. Louis and Washington, D.C.) as the impact of post-pandemic hiring waned across the country.

Taking Stock

2023 revisions brought an additional important milestone: all local sectors returned to their pre-pandemic levels of employment. Four years on from the onset of the pandemic, then, a comparison of Orlando’s employment structure before and after the pandemic to gauge any material shifts in our economy is timely. 

Five sectors have grown their share of regional employment over the period by contributing more to net job growth than their starting share of employment: professional & business services, education & health, financial activities, transportation, warehousing & utilities, and wholesale trade. Collectively, these sectors generated more than 80% of all net new jobs in the region over the period; more importantly, they all offer wages above the regional average. This is a major opportunity in the region’s ongoing pursuit of Broad-based Prosperity. 


Yet evidence (including in the Partnership’s own Prosperity Scorecard) suggests growth in the region continues to prove inequitable. Income and poverty gaps between demographic groups have widened in recent years and barriers to opportunity remain. It is more important than ever, then, that this community continues to challenge itself to identify and pursue strategies that give every resident the opportunity to climb the economic ladder presented by our ongoing growth. 

Looking Ahead

Orlando’s job growth in 2023 mirrors what the Partnership heard directly from local businesses through our Orlando Business Conditions Survey and reflects disciplined hiring to achieve growth ambitions in the face of both cost pressures and national uncertainty. 

As we again celebrate our success in generating opportunity for our growing population, in 2024 making sure all residents can access that opportunity must continue to be a priority for the region.