What I keep hearing on the streets and what I read in these articles posted on this site continuously clash. I know the local economy is changing, but even this article states that "Once a business services backwater, the share of jobs in that sector in the local economy has rapidly climbed towards the national average." One has to be excited for good news, of course, but one also has to take all these statements with a grain of salt. The capital markets generally don't view Jax very favorably, and neither do they view most secondary/tertiary markets very favorably nowadays as the flow of skilled labor, immigration, and capital is to the top 10 primary/secondary markets with a few notable smaller secondary markets sprinkled in (Austin, Charlotte, Raleigh, Nashville, Denver).
The easiest way to tell if your economy is really booming and wages are truly going up is in high end infill multifamily construction. The investors/developers/lenders are usually most keen on job growth/quality job growth, which provides the impetus for multifamily. They will finance and build expensive apartments en masse where there is job growth to support the rents and the influx of new units. They also try to forecast 2-3 years out with 12-18 months taken up for construction.