Main Industries that Keep the Sarasota Economy Strong

Sarasota is growing – there’s no doubt about that. Each year, it draws an increasing number of people – both visitors and new residents – to its many attractions, from pristine beaches, to some of Florida’s top restaurants, shopping destinations, live entertainment events and more.

This population influx is driving the Sarasota economy and warming the real estate market. Both baby boomers and younger demographics are relocating to Sarasota and spending that hard-earned money, causing certain industries to expand to accommodate their needs.

Some of these industries are mainstays in the Sarasota economy, while others are increasingly important players. But all are growing rapidly, helping to bolster the economic growth.


Healthcare is a rapidly growing industry across North America, but especially in states like Florida where snowbirds and relocating retirees join an already growing population.

Sarasota has seen steady growth in the healthcare industry, and this is expected to continue over the next decade. Currently, the education and health services industries employ more than 52,000 people – about 15 percent of the workforce.

Many of the jobs involve direct patient care – the city’s main hospital, Sarasota Memorial, employs over 4,000. And, with the growing geriatric population, the home healthcare market is growing, too.

But there’s another sector fuelling economic growth: health innovation. There are more than 100 companies in the region developing health products, policies, systems, and knowledge to serve the current health needs of the population. This sector employs about 2,000 locally and is actively supported by regional economic development groups.

Professional and Business Services

As the population grows, the professional and business services sector does, too. This industry employs more than 47,000 lawyers, accountants, engineers, managers, and administrators – 13.5 ppercentof the workforce.

The sector’s growth is following a national trend: more than 25 percent of job growth in the United States comes from this sector. In southwest Florida, this has created an increased demand for Sarasota real estate, including commercial and office space.


Sarasota is home to some of the best beaches in the U.S., so it’s no surprise that tourism is one of its leading industries.

More than a million sun-seekers – out of state, Canadian, and international – visit Sarasota County every year, employing about a fifth of the labor force. According to Sarasota Magazine, Florida tourism reached new heights last year, welcoming more than 116 million visitors.

In 2017, the leisure and hospitality industry employed almost 13 per cent of the workforce. Nearly 45,000 people work in a tourism-related job – about 10,000 more than 10 years ago.

More than 2.5 million nights were booked in Sarasota hotels, helping to boost the demand for Sarasota real estate. The city charges a development tax on hotel stays, which is used for promotion and marketing, beach maintenance, projects and events — other ways to further develop tourism and keep the Sarasota economy strong.

These are just a few of the top industries in Sarasota, several leading manufacturing, education, and insurance companies also employ many thousands of people in the region and offer employment opportunities with competitive pay.

Industry Knowledge

At Schemmel Property Group, we have the knowledge and expertise to help you navigate the promising Sarasota real estate market or make a decision on relocating.

With a wide variety of available properties on the Gulf, exclusive golf courses, and downtown, we can help you find the perfect home. Call us now at (941) 308-6497 for any questions about Sarasota real estate.