Working and Employment in the City of Gulf Shores
Gulf Shores, Alabama is a rapidly growing city on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico that has seen its population grow by 100 percent since 2000. The normal inclination is to say that growth tends to create unemployment, but that is not the case in Gulf Shores. As of July 2013, the unemployment rate in the city of Gulf Shores was only five percent. That is nearly two percent lower than the state of Alabama and a full three to four percent lower than the United States average. People are working in Gulf Shores, and there is always room for more.
To understand the employment picture in Gulf Shores, we need to understand the people and the situation they are in. The population of Gulf Shores has a median age of 42 years old, which is two years older than the Alabama state median. Nearly 60 percent of the population of Gulf Shores is married and over 90 percent have their high school diplomas. The sudden surge in population and the high median age tells us that the area is popular with retirees. That would help the unemployment figures, but it does not tell the entire story.
The median income in Gulf Shores is approximately $47,000 per year which is, once again, higher than the Alabama state average. These are affluent retirees mixed in with working people who have very high-paying jobs. Another interesting fact about Gulf Shores is that nearly five percent of its residents were born outside the United States. That is three percent higher than the state average of Alabama. Gulf Shores is attracting working people and retirees from all over the world, and there are still plenty of jobs to go around.
The nearest city with an appreciable population is Pensacola, Florida, which is 32 miles away. Nearly 50 percent of the people who live in Gulf Shores, also work in Gulf Shores. The average drive time to work for Gulf Shores residents is around 25 minutes, which means that very few residents are going to Pensacola for work. The majority of the good paying jobs in the area are in and around Gulf Shores.
The industries that do the most hiring in Gulf Shores are construction, retail sales and real estate leasing. This follows in line with the booming tourism industry in the area that seems extremely resilient to the hurricanes which tend to come in off the Gulf waters. The food service and waste management services industries also hire a significant portion of the working population, with government administration also making the list.
Hospitality and retail managers tend to be the most popular jobs in Gulf Shores, and they are usually not seasonal jobs. Construction supervisors, electrical technicians, grounds maintenance workers and construction laborers are also very common positions in the Gulf Shores area. The real estate professionals who sell, rent and lease commercial as well as residential property also make up a large portion of the working population.
The real estate profession tends to operate on commissions from finalized sales, renting and leasing agreements. The population rise in the area, coupled with the median value of a residential property nearly doubling since 2000, has contributed to the rise in median incomes in the area. The influx of new residents buying expensive condominiums and retirement properties continues, which gives a bright outlook for the real estate sales and maintenance industries.
One of the industries that is growing in prominence in the Gulf Shores area is the arts and entertainment industry. As the number of permanent residents to the area continues to rise, there is an increase in a need for entertainment. The Gulf Shores area has been utilizing its public parks and other gathering areas as theaters, while the actual theaters in the city itself are seeing a rise in popularity. Performers from all over the world are starting to perform in Gulf Shores, which has helped to increase the need for more workers in the entertainment industry.
The outlook for employment in the city of Gulf Shores is bright. It seems that the occasional bad weather the area is known for has done little to stem the tide of revenue that seems to be pouring into the area. As tourism and the permanent population continues to grow in Gulf Shores, the need for a range of workers will also continue to grow. Professionals in areas such as medicine and law are also finding prosperous practices in the Gulf Shores area.