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Data: LinkedIn; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Florida's largest metro areas are collectively seeing the largest population gains in the country, according to the latest LinkedIn migration analysis shared with Axios.

Why it matters: The pandemic has accelerated out-migration from the biggest urban areas as the flexibility of remote work allows people to explore non-traditional options, So far, Florida has been a huge beneficiary of that trend.

Details: More people are choosing places with plenty of space and lower costs — Jacksonville, Salt Lake City, Cleveland and Colorado Springs — according to LinkedIn analysis of users' profile location changes between November 2020 and April 2021, compared to the same period a year earlier.

  • Meanwhile, San Francisco showed the largest decline of in-migration over the past year, compared with the previous year, followed by New York, Seattle and Portland.
  • Jacksonville, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale metro area and Tampa Bay are in the top 10 cities in the country seeing high in-migration. Orlando came in the 15th slot with 2.16% year-over-year in-migration.

The other side: The growth of smaller and mid-sized cities doesn't sound a death knell for the top metros. Many people leaving San Francisco and New York didn't ditch their metro areas altogether — they moved to surrounding suburbs.

  • While Florida has an appealing climate and tax code, its business environment isn't as robust as the more established corporate hubs.
  • That could make it harder to attract venture capital investment and talent needed for fast-growing startups to succeed in the long term.
  • Home prices are rapidly increasing as newcomers move into the state. Heat and hurricanes have also helped drive others to leave, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Zoom in: Miami mayor Francis Suarez has been a huge booster of the city's tech chops to draw entrepreneurs and investors, and he seems to have succeeded in creating significant buzz for the city as a launching pad for creative-industry careers.

  • Orlando has tried to brand itself as an entertainment and sports hub, thanks to the presence of Disney, and has worked on expanding its reputation as a health care center.
  • Tampa Bay has a more diverse corporate landscape, driven by tourism, health care, finance and construction.
  • Jacksonville is Florida's most populous city and also the largest city in the contiguous U.S. in terms of area. It's a major transportation hub for the southeastern states and also has a legacy in manufacturing and the oil and gas industries.

The bottom line: It's unclear whether these trends will reverse as pandemic restrictions ease up.

Go deeper

The 49-day wait to get an engineering job

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Engineering job seekers wait an average of 49 days to get hired after submitting job applications, per a new LinkedIn analysis.

The big picture: Employers are desperate to fill a record number of open positions across industries, but the hiring process is still taking a long time for some types of jobs.

Updated 8 hours ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 9 hours ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.