Report shows Florida hospitals are crucial to the state’s economy


Hannah Saunders


A recent report titled “Economic Contributions of Florida Hospitals and Affiliated Healthcare Businesses in 2021” shows how the state’s hospitals have become a vital aspect of the state’s economy. The authors of the report concluded that Florida hospitals are stable and consistent employers in the state, and that contributions continue to grow.

The report, released by Alan W. Hodges, PhD, and Christa D. Court, PhD, at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), shows that in 2021, Florida hospitals had an annual economic output of $177.8 billion. The report conducted analysis using financial data for hospitals in fiscal year 2021 from the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration and information on affiliated businesses from the D&B Hoovers database. It also found that Florida hospitals employed over 322,000 Floridians, with a total payroll of over $28 billion. 

“Florida has one of the nation’s most enviable and growing economies, and our hospitals are foundational economic pillars and economic engines,” president and CEO of the Florida Hospital Association Mary Mayhew said in a press release. “As Florida’s population continues to grow, the state’s future economic success is intertwined with sustaining a vibrant, financially strong, and sophisticated healthcare system to deliver high-quality, modern healthcare services today and into the future.”


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According to the US Census Bureau, Florida is the fastest growing state in the nation. Between 2021 and 2022, Florida’s population increased by 1.9%, and its population in 2022 is over nine times the size of its population from 1946. 

Each hospital job in Florida supports 1.73 additional jobs in the state, and every $1 spent by hospitals supports $1.25 in additional business activity. Since 2019, economic contributions of hospitals have increased. In 2021, the value added, also known as GDP contributions, was 7.9% higher for Florida hospitals than the two years prior, with adjustments made for inflation, according to the report.

Dr. Alan Hodges from the Food & Resource Economics Department of the University of IFAS spoke out in a press release about the importance of this information. 

“Documenting hospitals’ economic contributions is incredibly important to inform debates about public investment in and support for the healthcare infrastructure,” Hodges said. “The ripple effects of hospitals’ economic activity are felt throughout the entire economy. When a hospital closes or cuts back on services, those impacts are felt not just in diminished access to healthcare but in economic activity as well.” 

In 2021, there were 321 private and public hospitals operating in the state, with 70,444 hospital beds. At these 321 hospitals, there were 315,497 full-time equivalent employees. During that year, Florida hospitals reeled in a total of $81.54 billion in operating and non-operating revenues, with $66.73 billion in total operating expenses. About $28.28 billion went towards employee wages, salaries, and benefits paid. 

Total economic contributions of Florida hospitals and affiliated businesses in 2021, including multiplier effects in other supporting sectors of the economy include 1.24 million full-time and part-time jobs and $267.99 billion in industry output or sales revenues. The total value added was $121.34 billion, and there was $81.65 billion in labor income. About $23.44 billion in taxes were paid to local, state, and federal governments.

Hospital-affiliated healthcare businesses had an estimated employment of 38,396 individuals with revenues of $35.54 billion. Direct employment of 360,046 jobs represented 29% of total employment contributions.

“Value added contributions represented 9.7% of Florida’s Gross State Product in 2021 and the employment contributions represented 9.9% of the state workforce,” stated the report. 

Employment contributions of hospitals and affiliated healthcare businesses include:

  • Orlando area with 358,396 jobs
  • Miami-Ft. Lauderdale with 315,739 jobs
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg with 238,336 jobs
  • Jacksonville with 105,269 jobs
  • Sarasota-Bradenton with 103,423 jobs
  • Gainesville with 39,746 jobs
  • Pensacola with 34,650 jobs
  • Tallahassee with 29,843 jobs
  • Panama City with 15,985 jobs

Physician offices in Florida experienced the most job growth out of all provider types with 320,774 jobs. Hospitals experienced 305,785 jobs, while nursing and community care facilities experienced 159,545 jobs. Residential mental health and substance use facilities experienced a smaller rate of job growth with 33,315 jobs. The total employment contributions were estimated at 878,913 for full-time and part-time positions, while the total industry output, or business revenue contributions, were $177.76 billion.

“Our seniors, newly arriving retirees, and families want to have peace of mind that they have timely access to high-quality healthcare close to home,” Mayhew said. “This new economic impact report continues to reinforce the connection between Florida’s thriving economy and the role of Florida hospitals as economic drivers and a critical cornerstone for comprehensive healthcare services in their communities.”