CFED Scorecard

Florida ranked 40th for residents' financial security

Paul Brinkmann
Orlando Sentinel
Jan 26, 2016

A new report ranks Florida poorly for financial security of its residents and highlights Florida problems with underemployment and low-wage jobs.

The report, from the not-for-profit Corporation for Enterprise Development, ranks Florida No. 40 in the U.S. for financial security. It also slams the state for having poor health care insurance coverage.

Nationally, the unemployment rate has dropped to 5 percent but the underemployment rate is twice as high at 10.8%.

Locally, the Orlando metro jobless rate was 4.3 percent for December, but the poverty rate in the region has risen sharply. Florida's standard unemployment rate for the past 12 months averages out to 5.7 percent, but Florida's so-called "U-6" alternative rate is 11.9 percent, which takes into account marginally unemployed people.

Forty-nine percent of Florida’s households are locked into a new normal of “perpetual financial insecurity,” struggling to build savings needed to last even three months, the not-for-profit group said.

The research was reflected in CFED’s 2016 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard, which you can read here. The research dovetails exactly with what the Sentinel wrote about in its recent economic forecast for 2016 – where this blog reported that new tools are being examined by UCF to judge our economy.

The situation is most dire for households of African-American and Hispanic backgrounds, the report said.

When it comes to outcomes, Vermont ranks at the top of the U.S. overall, while Mississippi ranks last in the CFED report. Florida’s 40th-place outcome ranking dropped slightly from last year’s 39th-place ranking.

The report ranked Florida worst for health care:

-- It received an “F” grade for having the second-worst uninsured rate in the country (20.1 percent). -- The state also has the second-lowest percentage of residents covered by employer-provided health plans (48.1%). -- The average worker that does receive insurance through their employer pays the second-highest share of his or her health care premiums in the country (32.8%).

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