WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Sunshine State is finishing off a memorable year with another high-ranking achievement. Florida is the best state in the country for construction, according to Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) annual rankings.
The trade association’s “Building America: The Merit Shop Scorecard” compiles grade averages from each state based on the following seven criteria: project labor agreements, prevailing wage laws, right-to-work laws, public-private partnerships, workforce development, career and technical education and job growth rate.
Florida earned an ‘A’ in every category, with the exception of a ‘B’ rating in workforce development. The report also praised the state for “fostering fair and open competition in public construction work” and a 96 percent graduation rate for career and technical education program students.
“CREATING A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD”
This year marks the fourth time in eight years Florida earned the top spot in the ABC rankings. Neighboring states Georgia and Alabama scored third and fourth highest in the rankings, respectively, while Arizona finished second. Meanwhile, blue states California (48), New York (47), New Jersey (44) and Illinois (42) all finished in the bottom ten.
“Each state plays a key role in creating the conditions for the best taxpayer investment in quality infrastructure,” Ben Brubeck, ABC’s vice president of regulatory, labor and state affairs, said in a press release. “These policy and educational priorities are the foundation of creating a level playing field for all construction contractors to compete for work and build safely, efficiently and effectively.”
HOUSING COSTS RISING WITH POPULATION GROWTH
The ranking bodes well for a state in need of more affordable housing. The influx of new residents relocating from across the country has driven up median costs for both housing and rent.
U.S. Census data released on December 22 show that Florida was the fastest-growing state in 2022, with an annual population increase of 1.9 percent, resulting in a total resident population of 22,244,823.
Real estate data company Zillow published a report last month that found “all four of the major markets with the greatest year-over-year home value appreciation are in Florida: Miami (23.3%), Tampa (21.2%), Orlando (20.9%), and Jacksonville (19.8%).”
Meanwhile, another November 2022 study from Florida Atlantic University showed six Florida cities ranked in the top 25 most expensive nationwide for average rent payment and year-over-year increase in average rent cost.