TALLAHASSEE — The top job-loss state in the nation. Shrinking wages. Collapsing population growth. Record home foreclosures.
Florida's economy is not just firmly and bleakly in the red — it will likely stay that way until next June, according to the state government's top economists who Wednesday issued their most pessimistic financial forecast in years.
At the heart of the problem is the falling housing market. The economists projected new housing construction will fall to about 60,000 units this year — a decrease of 78 percent from a high of nearly 283,000 in 2005.
Total statewide construction expenditures, including public buildings, are expected to decrease by $10.6 billion, or 21.5 percent.
The most dire fact of all: Florida lost more jobs in the past 12 months — 74,700 — than any other state in the nation. And the economists predict that more people in construction, government, manufacturing, financial services, transportation and warehousing will be out of work soon.
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