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MIAMI-The South Florida area is expected to see healthy employment gains this year, followed by stronger market statistics next year, according to Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Brokerage Co.’s recently released South Florida Office Market Research Report.

In South Florida, the employment growth rate is expected to increase to 1.8% this year, when 32,000 new jobs are predicted, mostly in the service industry. This compares to 17,000 jobs added in 2002.

The report, which includes Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, states that investors are seeing signs of recovery and driving sales prices up throughout South Florida.

“South Florida’s office market will remain soft through 2003, but show significant improvement in 2004,” Gene A. Berman, senior vice president and regional manager of the company’s Fort Lauderdale office, said in the report.

“As a whole, the region was not as hard-hit by the recession as much of the nation, but has been affected by reductions in the tourism industry. South Florida’s consistent employment growth slowed during the recession, but is now beginning to increase. As a result, the market will gain strength in 2004,” Berman said.

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