Phil Aitken
Phil Aitken


Jacksonville’s Economy & Employment

The Duval County economy has unemployment rates that hover around 3.7%, the same as the U.S. national average.  The county has experienced job market growth by 2.7% over the last year and future job growth over the next ten years is predicted to be 44.4%, higher than the national average of 33.5%.  Duval County industry consists largely of health care and social work assistance.  Second to that is retail trade and the accommodations and food industry.  The highest paying industries in Duval are currently utilities, professional, scientific and technical services and management of companies and enterprises.

Large Container Ship Entering Port In Jacksonville, Fl.

Jacksonville’s job market is flourishing constantly with the job market increasing by 14% over the past decade. JAX has been termed “America’s Logistics Center”, boasting a local economy rich in finance, transportation, logistics, consumer goods and insurance sectors. The average annual salary is around $46,000, lower than the national average, however the cost of living is 10% below the U.S. average. 

Work collaboration is a big part of the JAX business community in collaboration with companies such as CoWork JAX, CoRK Arts District and JaxHax. Local professional groups are thriving and business owners are heavily involved in marketing groups such as JAMA, advertising with AAF Jax, AIGA for design, JAXChamber, the BBB, Women Business Owners of North Florida and Southside Business Men’s Club. Jacksonville maintains its rank as a high sufficiency city according to the World Cities Study Group. The business community is ever-evolving, improving at a rapid pace.

The Job Market

Major Jacksonville employers are Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, the booming hospitality industry, and the Naval Air Station, which offers generous employment opportunities on the military base paired with wonderful cultural diversity. Jacksonville’s deepwater port makes Jax a leading port in the U.S. for automobile imports. In addition, Jax is the leading transportation and distribution hub in the state and is a mecca of financial institutions such as Atlantic National Bank, Florida National Bank and Barnett Bank, Ameris Bancorp, Atlantic Coast Financial, Black Knight Financial Services, MedMal Direct Insurance Company, US Assure and  VyStar Credit Union . The city is also home to a branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and is marked by a constantly evolving business culture. Downtown is home to the chief business districts while Southside and Gate Parkway house sprawling office parks. Many Fortune 500 companies such as Winn-Dixie, CSX Corporation and Fidelity National Financial are located in Jacksonville.


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Nassau County

The Nassau County Soil & Water Conservation District is the main environmental/agricultural body and works in tandem with other agencies in the area. 

The county is governed by the Nassau Board of County Commissioners, a five-member team elected to four-year staggered terms. Formed in 1941, the Ocean Highway & Port Authority independently governs Nassau County. OHPA owns and operates the Port of Fernandina’s seaport system, which acts as a terminal for steel exports, paper, pulp, auto parts, machinery, chemical, beverages, food products and building materials. The port’s container lines export to Haiti, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Venezuela, Curacao, Bermuda and Aruba. In addition, the Nassau County Sheriff’s Department is headquartered in Yulee and the 1891 courthouse is located in Fernandina Beach.

St. Johns County

This county is ideally positioned to attract visitors and industry.  Established in 1821, St. Johns is now one of the fastest growing counties in the U.S., especially when it comes to job and income growth.  While the county’s economic base is diverse and primarily tourism-related, it consistently promotes a strong balance of local employment opportunities, including industrial and office-related jobs.  St. Johns is well known for its economic initiatives developed to enhance the growth of existing businesses and attraction of new ones making it an entrepreneurial location of choice and the booming economic center of Jacksonville.

Impressively diverse, the local economy is largely fueled by agricultural tree farms owned by one of the county’s foremost employers, Rayonier, who also owns a large pulp mill in Fernandina Beach. Extensive economic growth is occurring in the more western, rural areas surrounding Nassau County where the construction of new homes is booming. Rayonier continues to fertilize the local economy via corporate headquarters established in Yulee in 2017 and the development of the Wildlight Community amidst 24,000 acres of pines, consisting of housing, medical facilities, shopping centers, various offices, Wildlight Elementary School and light industrial facilities. Several major companies have elected to set up shop in Nassau County including Florida Public Utilities, located in Yulee.

The Job Market

St. Augustine’s unemployment rate is 2.9%, almost a full percentage rate below that of the nation’s average.  The job market has increased by 2.8% over the past year and future job growth is projected to be 50.1% over the next ten years, higher than the national average of 33.5%.  The median income for a household is $36,424, and the median income for a family is $56,055.  The per capita income for the city is $23,485. About 7.6% of families and 21.1% of the population are below the poverty line, including 18.8% of those under age 18 and 24.4% of those age 65 or over.  Hospitality is St. Augustine’s primary industry, closely followed by retail, education, entertainment and healthcare.  

Nassau County

Fernandina beach in Nassau County is marked by professional industries including real estate, medical, legal and the hospitality industry at its local Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Amelia Island Plantation. In November of 2017, the University of Florida announced plans to construct two health and fitness facilities in Nassau County.
There is an active military population in Fernandina Beach due to the presence of the Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport. This general aviation airport and former military airbase is now used by the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and the Florida Air National Guard. Located on Amelia Island, the airport is three nautical miles south of Fernandina Beach’s central business district and is a designated reliever airport of JAX International.

Hilliard (Nassau County) houses the Federal Aviation Administration’s Air Traffic Control Center. The Center handles most commercial and civilian air traffic for the southeastern U.S. and is a major Hilliard employer. Many FAA retirees reside in Nassau County.

Nassau County Top Employers

EmployerRank# of Employees
Care Centers of Nassau9250
Rayonier Advanced Materials8300
Baptist Medical Center Nassau7420
Federal Aviation Administration5550
The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island4700
Nassau County Government3672
The Omni Amelia Island Plantation21,200
Nassau County School District11,598

If you have questions about the economy in Florida, call Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty - Phil Aitken Home Team.

Phil Aitken, Owner/Broker
Phil Aitken is the Owner/Broker with Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty - Phil Aitken Home Team and has over 13 years of Real Estate experience. Phil’s faith and desire for his family’s continued security fuel his business growth and leadership. The Phil Aitken Home Team continues to profoundly impact the people of Jacksonville via supporting several faith-based organizations. Phil gives back a portion of every real estate transaction to The Tim Tebow Foundation and Rethreaded. Find Phil's full story here.