The difficult economy has been tough on yacht builders nationwide, but the last six months at Florida's Lazzara Yachts have been good. Several crews are working on five different floating mansions. Lazzara says its uptick in orders has workers staffing two full-time shifts, with plans to add a third shift next month.
Below are fast facts on the from the Fox News Brainroom as Fox News goes "On the Job Hunt."
• Nov 2009: Florida's unemployment rate is 11.5 percent
• The number of new boats sold during 2008 decreased 16 percent to 704,820 units.
• New boat and engine sales totaled $11.2 billion in 2008, a 22 percent decrease from 2007.
• Nearly 95 percent of registered engine-powered boats on the water in 2008 were 26 feet or less
• 2003-2008: Water transportation sector adds 25,800 jobs nationwide
• 2008: About 40,000 U.S. privately-owned vessels in operation worldwide
Impact of the marine sector on Florida
• Florida's Marine Industries combined for retail sales of $5.457 billion in fiscal year 2008
• Florida's Marine Industries retail sales in FY 2008 represented a decrease of $539 million (nine percent) from its 2005 level
• 2008: 921,834 recreational boats were registered in Florida
• Florida continued its top ranking among states in terms of registered recreational watercraft
• An estimate of the overall economic impact [direct and indirect] of Florida's marine sector was $16.8 billion in 2008, down from $18.4 billion in 2005
• Florida's marine industry has lost 22,791 jobs from 2005-2008
• 2008: Florida's marine industry employment stood at roughly 202,743 persons
• The word yacht derives from the Dutch word for "hunting ship"
• First known yacht club founded in Ireland in 1720
• First large U.S. luxury yacht was a schooner built in 1816