Considering relocation: weighing the decision to move to orlando without secured employment.

You may be envisioning a bright, sunny paradise with plenty of promising job opportunities just beyond the border in Florida.

But, can you assume there will be jobs here when you get here?

While most of our clients move to Florida with a job in-hand, there have been a few who have moved here without a job and found gainful employment.

On the other hand, there have also been job security issues for people who have been unprepared for Orlando’s dynamic and changing job market.

Let’s dig in and see if moving to the sunshine state without a job is right for you?

Moving to Orlando Without a Job: Is It a Good Idea? (short answer)?

In short, we would not recommend anyone moving to Orlando without first securing a job.

We understand that there are highly in-demand industries in Orlando such as nursing, defense contracting, and an endless supply of hospitality and tourism jobs—but the reality is that it can take months to secure a quality job.

According to recent hiring data published by Indeed, 44% of job applicants will not receive a response for several weeks after applying, while 37% will hear back within a week.

Keep in mind, that’s just hearing back and setting up a first conversation. This doesn’t include interview rounds, on-boarding, screenings, and more.

Finding a job while moving to Orlando is challenging due to the high cost of living in the city. The expenses can make it difficult to secure employment and cover necessary living costs.

How long does it take to get hired in Orlando?

As of 2024, the average time it takes to find a job in America is 5 weeks based on data from the Bureua of Labor Statistics.

Now, with that being said, those numbers are AVERAGE and not an indication of how long it will take for you to find a job.

In high demand fields like nursing, you may find in a job in under a few weeks (my daughter-in-law did).

However, if you are an architect, you may find that it takes much longer to secure a job in a smaller city like Orlando than larger cities like Jacksonville or Miami.

Orlando’s Biggest Employers

The hospitality and tourism industry are always in high demand due to the presence of Disney and Universal Studios. Glassdoor recently published user data showing that the average new employee is hired within 31 days at Disney and 16 days at Universal Studios, highlighting the strong demand for jobs in this sector.

Graphic showing interview statistics for walt disney company with experience feedback, ways of getting an interview, and difficulty rating.
Job statistics for Walt Disney Company with experience feedback, ways of getting an interview, and difficulty rating.

Adventhealth is Orlando’s biggest healthcare employer, and they recently posted that applicants can expect to hear back within 1 to 3 weeks.

Defense and government contracting roles within Orlando can take considerably longer depending on your role, experience, and background check needs.

Does Orlando have high or low unemployment rates?

Orlando is thriving!!! In fact, most of Florida is doing great with unemployment in 2024.

Currently, Orlando has a very low 3.2% unemployment rate (2024). This tracks closely with the overall Florida unemployment rate of 3.1%.

Even though our unemployment ticked up a tiny bit to 3.2 percent from last year’s 2.7 percent, we’re still on track for some of our most successful years on record.

Florida as a whole is rocking a lower unemployment rate than the national average for the 40th consecutive month!

A screenshot showing a table of labor force data for orlando-kissimmee-sanford, fl, displaying figures for civilian labor force, employment, and unemployment from september 2023 to february 2024.
Labor force data for orlando-kissimmee-sanford, fl, displaying figures for civilian labor force

There are a lot of people finding lucrative positions to support themselves or families. In fact, Florida regularly lands in the top three states for people relocating.

Check out blog on how many people are moving to Florida each month.

Does Orlando have a lot of job opportunities?

As of February 2024, Orlando area made a splash by snagging the third-highest increase in private sector jobs across all metro areas.

That’s right, we added a whopping 23,200 jobs, which is a 1.8 percent jump from last year! Not a bad for small, but mighty city.

Our labor force grew by 1.9 percent, bringing in 27,600 more eager job hunters ready to work.

In fact, our humble city of Orlando was the 10th fastest growing metro area in the country last year according the Buruea of Labor Statistics from January 2023 to January 2024.

RankMetropolitan AreaStateOver-the-year Change (%)
1Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NVNevada3.5
2Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CACalifornia2.9
3Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FLFlorida2.8
4Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZArizona2.7
5Austin-Round Rock, TXTexas2.7
6San Antonio-New Braunfels, TXTexas2.7
7Raleigh, NCNorth Carolina2.6
8Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TXTexas2.5
9Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FLFlorida2.3
10Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FLFlorida2.2
Top 10 fastest growing US Cities

Now, if you’re wondering where all these jobs are popping up, let me tell you, our leisure and hospitality sector is on fire, adding 8,000 jobs. It’s no surprise, right?

And our job growth? It’s zipping past the national rate, showing just how resilient and dynamic our local economy is.

Orlando’s Job Market Growth


Orlando isn’t just about sunshine and theme parks; it’s quickly becoming a hotbed for startup growth.

According to the Growjo 2023 report on Orlando’s fastest-growing companies, the industries leading the charge in growth are Real Estate and Construction, IT Security, and Food.

These sectors stand out among the city’s startup scene, demonstrating Orlando’s expanding economic diversity beyond its famed tourism sector.

With significant job openings and a thriving environment for startups, these industries offer a glimpse into Orlando’s dynamic job market and the city’s potential as a promising destination for career opportunities.

Biggest Employers
Sometimes the best way to find a job is to look at the biggest companies with the most employees.

Here’s a table showcasing the top employers across the five biggest industries in Orlando, to help those job hunting see where the opportunities are from Orlando MSA’s Top 75 biggest companies list.

IndustryTop Employer 1Top Employer 2Top Employer 3
Leisure & HospitalityWalt Disney World Resort (58,478 employees)Universal Orlando (+Resort) (21,143 employees)SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment (4,472 employees)
HealthcareAdventHealth (37,000 employees)Orlando Health (19,657 employees)Nemours (2,087 employees)
Air TransportationOrlando International Airport (15,783 employees)Southwest Airlines (3,000 employees)JetBlue Airways (2,661 employees)
RetailPublix Super Markets Inc. (15,511 employees)
EducationUniversity of Central Florida (12,354 employees)Valencia College (4,226 employees)Seminole State College of Florida (1,455 employees)
Biggest Companies in Orlando

What if I can’t find a job

Florida is an amazing place with tons of jobs. However, it’s not the most friendly state if you don’t have a job and need public assistance.

Florida’s decision not to expand Medicaid (1 of 12 states) reflects broader challenges within the state’s approach to public aid.

The absence of Medicaid expansion is just one aspect where the state has chosen a more conservative path in terms of welfare benefits, which can impact other areas such as housing assistance, mental health services, and educational programs.

Keep in mind, Florida is the third most populated state in the U.S. and is ranked 47th on public welfare assistance.

It’s important to note that discussing the pros and cons of social welfare is a complex topic, so let’s focus on the situation in Florida. Unfortunately, when it comes to offering support to those in need, Florida ranks quite low compared to other states.

In other words, if you move here without a job, and fail, and then require social assistance—good luck.

If you don’t have a job, you may experience the overwhelming burden of Florida’s challenging affordable housing situation, which is worsened by a growing population and escalating real estate costs.

Although there are initiatives in place to assist with housing and prevent homelessness, the support and accessibility they provide can be constrained, especially when compared to states that have more comprehensive social assistance systems.

In addition, Florida is facing a significant challenge in providing adequate mental health services. It is one of the states with the least access to mental health care, ranking 49th in the nation according to Mental Health America.

Florida is 49th in us for access to mental health care.
Florida is 49th in us for access to mental health care.

Beyond this, the state is marked by a severe shortage of mental health professionals, with 53 areas identified as having insufficient mental health services, including 19 counties in dire need.

Overall, the cautious approach to public aid in Florida, exemplified by the Medicaid expansion decision, underscores a broader debate about the role of state-funded welfare programs.

Such policies have the potential to encourage self-sufficiency and reduce reliance on government assistance. However, they also prompt concerns about the level of support available for vulnerable populations, as well as the long-term effects on public health, economic stability, and social equity.