Cape among best for families, jobs
Cape Coral continues to rack up the rankings for being among the best cities in which to live and work.
Recently, the city earned two more accolades, being named by Wallet Hub as one of the best cities in Florida for families and, perhaps most significantly, being among one of the top metro areas in America to find new jobs, according to Manpower Group.
WalletHub compared 115 cities across 21 key metrics ranging from housing affordability to school-system quality to general affordability.
Among the major factors, Cape Coral ranked 10th in health, education and safety and 30th in family life and fun. It was also 39th in socioeconomic environment, but finished 60th in affordability.
In more specific categories, among the areas where Cape Coral shined were in violent-crime rate per capita (10th), divorce rate (34th) and quality of the school system (35th), though the high school graduation rate was below average (62nd).
Economic Development Director Dana Brunett said the numbers were pretty good, considering 20 years ago they were “Cape Coma.”
We’re not there yet. We still need to add amenities for families, but we’re getting there,” Brunett said. “About 25 years ago the average age was 62, now, it’s 43. That shows the growth has been with younger people.”
Parkland, Oviedo and Winter Park were the top three. Naples was fifth, North Port 20th, and Bonita Springs 58th.
Fort Myers and Lehigh Acres were ranked 88th and 89th, respectively. North Miami, Miami and Hallandale Brach were ranked the three worst.
This is not the first time WalletHub has liked Cape Coral. Earlier this year it ranked Cape Coral fourth in the country in best places to retire.
The Manpower Group ranked the Cape Coral/Fort Myers area behind only McAllen, Texas, Greenville S.C. and Tampa in the top 100 metropolitan areas where the top job prospects are.
“We’re below the national average in unemployment and so we’re growing more than most places, but we were hit the hardest,” Carioscia said, adding that the city has a way to go as far as filling jobs the city needs to keep people in the area.
“You have to choose your profession wisely. You have to get into health care, education or be a first responder,” Carioscia said. “There’s a national crisis for teachers. If we channel our young people to degrees that will keep them in the area, teaching and first responders is where you want to go.”
“It’s always good to get third-party affirmation. When we recruit businesses we use data like that because they expect us to be a growing area,” Brunett said. “We try to knit these into a tight package when we send information out.”
Overall, the site said U.S. hiring plans in the final quarter of 2015 is the strongest it’s been since the final quarter of 2007. Globally, the U.S. India, Taiwan and Japan are most primed for growth, while Brazil and Italy are seen to have the weakest hiring environment.