Florence is the major economic center of northwestern Alabama. It's located in the center of the triangle consisting of Memphis, Nashville and Birmingham which places the city in one of the fastest growing areas in the nation. The city's location has led to significant economic development. The leading industries in Florence are education, health and social services, manufacturing (especially textiles, flooring and furniture) distribution, retail and food processing. Florence also has companies in industries such as primary metals, rubber products, chemical and allied products, agriculture (especially cotton) and fabricated metals. Regarding non-agricultural positions, about 25% of the jobs are in the construction, mining and manufacturing sectors.
In 2009 the average earnings in Florence was $28,000. Approximately 15% of the residents have bachelor's degrees and about 10% have a graduate degree. In 2008 the cost of living index was at 82.8. The average in the nation is 100.
The city of Florence offers a variety of incentives to increase manufacturing investments in the city. The Alabama Industrial Development Training program also helps companies by implementing a client approved training program at no charge for new and expanding businesses.
Some of the major employers in Florence and other areas in the metropolitan region known as the Shoals:
- The local healthcare industry includes Gentiva Health Services, Coffee Health Group, Helen Keller Hospital and the Healthcare Authority of Lauderdale County and the city of Florence Alabama
- The field of education includes Lauderdale County Schools, University of Northern Alabama, Florence City Schools and NW-Shoals Community College
- Government employers such as the City of Florence, Tennessee Valley Authority and Lauderdale County
- Sara Lee Foods - meat processing
- Wise Alloys - aluminum can sheet
- American Wholesale Books - distributor
- SCA Tissue Barton Operation - paper mill converting
- Jami- furniture
- Northern Southern Railroad - transportation
- The HON Company - office furniture manufacturer
- Tarkett Alabama Inc - floor tile
- Flexco - rubber and vinyl flooring
- Whitesell Corporation - Fasteners
- Bank Independent - financial
- Monarch Ceramic Tile - porcelain tile manufacturer
- South Wire - insulated copper/electrical wire
- Southeastern Extrusion - precision tool & die
Helpful Florence business organizations are:
The Times Daily provides information about the current business activities in the Florence area.