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TALLAHASSEE, FL-Long-term prospects for economic growth and a strong government employment component bode well for the state capital’s multifamily market, according to a report by CB Richard Ellis. The jobless rate for Leon County measured 6.8% in March, well below the 9.7% statewide average.

More than 18,000 rental apartments are available in the Tallahassee market, with a current vacancy rate of 12%, CBRE reports. Units average 1,025 square feet with an average rent of $950 per month.

“Tallahassee’s housing market depression has been relatively mild compared to other cities in Florida,” says Dan Allen, vice chairman of CBRE’s Jacksonville office. “State government, health care and defense sectors are providing a degree of job stability for Leon County.”

Government employs the highest percentage of workers in Tallahassee at 36%, with professional and business services and education employing around 11% each. The city’s largest employers are Florida State University, Tallahassee Memorial Health Care and Florida A&M University.

Nearly 177,000 people worked in the Tallahassee metropolitan area–consisting of Leon, Gadsden, Jefferson and Wakulla Counties–in March, according to the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation. The average local salary is $31,180.

The city’s living and business costs are lower than the state average, softening the blow for smaller businesses, Allen says. Local companies in growth mode include General Dynamics Land Systems, which has hired at least 200 workers since last summer, and Tai Yang Research Co., which was awarded a US Navy contract to develop high-temperature superconducting equipment.

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