Editorial: Floridians deserve higher income

Florida would seem like a wealthy state with all the prime real estate on its coasts and the fabulous houses in certain areas such as South Miami Beach and Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa. These, however, are the exceptions to the rule.

Many people who work in Florida do not have the money to pay the bills for a small house, let alone a posh estate.

The average household income in Florida was $35,081 in 1999. Florida slipped from 33rd to 40th in the nation for highest-paid employees. To stop this slide downward and boost the state economy, Floridians need to get paid better wages for the jobs they hold – the jobs that keep Florida moving.

More jobs that pay better wages have sprung up, although more need to come about to make an impact. An increase in earned wages for the jobs that are abundant – retail and service positions – would help raise the state averagesignificantly.

The addition of a small facet of technical jobs did not help the state’s average wage earnings increase in the last decade. The problem with this “solution” falls in the category of training.

If the jobs many Floridians have, those in retail and service, bring in a higher income, the quality of work in those fields will improve. Improved quality of work in Florida will attract people to Florida who will spend their money. Hi-tech jobs will not replace the service industry in Florida – a major tourist destination.

Many people bring money to Florida as travelers, retirees or shoppers. They come, spend and leave. The people that live here take care of them and get a menial income for that.

The jobs that help keep the state’s economy running need to be better rewarded, instead of being subsidized by a few, high-paying, hi-tech jobs. This would increase Florida’s standing in the list of highly paid employees as well as increase the quality of goods and work.