The impact of Hurricane Irma on Florida’s economy already is showing up in strong hiring in jobs ranging from nurses to construction, a new report from a California-based human resources consultant is finding.

“After analyzing 52,866 job postings from Miami, Tampa, Orlando, etc., we found that not only has hiring rebounded, it is actually surging dramatically beyond normal 2017 demand for at least 13 kinds of jobs,” said Kushal Chakrabarti, co-founder and chief executive officer at TalentWorks of Berkley California.

The jobs surge was led by a demand to fill openings for architects, which were being hired in October at more than three times the normal rate. That’s an indication of the need to rebuild so much destroyed by Hurricane Irma in it’s Sept. 10-11 blow through Florida, particularly in the Florida Keys and Southwest Florida, he said.

But it doesn’t stop there, Chakrabarti’s company found. There also were dramatic spikes in October in the hiring of claims examiners, mechanical engineers, food service managers, surveyors and medical assistants, among others, according to a report TalentWorks posted Friday, called, “Hiring Is Surging Up To 3.2x After Hurricane Irma: The Economic Chaos of Natural Disasters, Part II.”

Part I was an examination of southeast Texas, which bore many of the same results, he said.

The jobs performance shows things are really coming back to normal, especially in Florida,” he said. “It’s more than surging.”

Hurricane Maria also likely was a factor, though it wasn’t addressed in the TalentWorks Report. Schools hirings also were up, a phenomenon that Chakrabarti’s team didn’t initially explain, but surmised it likely was due to schools’ staff expansions as they welcomed in the thousands of Puerto Rican students who’ve migrated to Florida since Hurricane Maria devastated their home island.

“As a whole, I think the hurricane response is starting to work. You see money coming in,” Charkrabarti said. “You can’t pay an architect without someone actually working. The first surge in hiring is the claims examiners. Right after that you see architects, project construction, construction managers. These are exactly what you expect as things get built out. It means things are working.”

 

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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