A slow-moving trend has become a milestone: Florida has more jobs than New York for the first time, reports Bloomberg. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says Florida had 9,578,500 nonfarm jobs at the end of last year, ahead of New York's 9,576,100. It's the first time since the BLS began tracking such stats in 1982 that Florida has come out on top. The state had been creeping up on New York for years, part of a general trend of northerners leaving for Southern states, where the cost of living is typically lower. But the shift accelerated because of the pandemic, notes the New York Post. Prior to the pandemic, in February 2020, New York had 9.9 million jobs compared to Florida's 9 million.
When more people were able to work from home, many apparently opted for warmer climes. Last year alone, more than 64,000 New Yorkers left for Florida, per the Post. "Florida is no longer God's waiting room," Craig Studnicky, a Florida real estate exec, tells Bloomberg. "We're attracting businesses and young people to come from all over the country because of our low taxes and warm weather." The news may have political ramifications: A spokesperson for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, boasted to FOX Business that the milestone illustrates his successful policies. (Read more Florida stories.)