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Flagler Unemployment Falls to 15.5%, But County Labor Force Shrinks By 1.5%

| November 19, 2010

florida flagler county unemployment october 2010

© FlaglerLive Graphic. Click on the image for larger view.

Flagler County’s unemployment rate in October fell back to 15.5 percent from 16.3 percent in September, but both the number of people employed and the number of people in the labor force shrank significantly: The county is not creating jobs, but rather still losing them–and losing able-bodied workers in higher numbers.

The county’s labor force shrank by 488, from 33,093 in September to 32,605 in October, a 1.5 percent month-over-month decrease. The number of Flagler County residents with jobs decreased by 163, from 27,699 to 27,536. The unemployment rate fell nevertheless because proportionately, fewer jobs were lost than workers in the labor force. But that decrease should not be interpreted as a net improvement, since the county continues to bleed jobs and workers.

Flagler County remains second only to Hendry County’s 18.3 percent unemployment rate. The more accurate measure of metropolitan-area unemployment rates places Palm Coast at the top of the state’s unemployment chart, with 15.5 percent unemployed. Second to Palm Coast is the Sebastian-Vero Beach metropolitan area in Indian River County, at 14.2 percent.

Florida is doing somewhat better. The state added a net 6,900 jobs in September, but job creation remains anemic, at just 35,700 in the past 12 months, a pace lower than the national rate, which has itself been slow. The state’s unemployment rate stayed at 11.9 percent, with 1.1 million Floridians out of work.

On Thursday, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives blocked a three-month extension of unemployment benefits, which are set to expire Nov. 30. With that vote, benefits will almost certainly expire before Congress gets a chance to reverse the block, after the Thanksgiving Day holiday. “Today, Republicans blocked an extension of unemployment insurance for thousands of families who have lost jobs through no fault of their own,” Steny Hoyer, the Democratic majority leader, said. “As a result, they can expect their insurance to begin to run out just after Thanksgiving weekend. Republicans’ opposition to this bill was bad for families across their own districts, and worse for our economy as a whole.” A sizable majority of 258-154 voted for the extension. But to pass the measure needed a two-thirds vote, so a minority of Republicans were able to block passage. (The new, GOP-led Congress has not yet been seated.)

In Florida, retail trades saw an increase of 6,500 jobs, but the largest increase was in leisure and hospitality–17,500 jobs, a good sign for Florida’s tourism industry, which is leading the state in job creation: hotels and motels saw a 2.3 percent increase in jobs, food services saw 1.5 percent increase, and arts, entertainment and recreation again showed a big jump, as they did last month, with a 3.1 percent gain.

Colleges and universities added 3,300 jobs, a 5.1 percent increase, and travel and reservation services had a 2.6 percent job increase.

On the other hand, there were decreases in construction, employment services, waste services, real estate and information services. Many trades and industries were flat.

The following are Florida’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) ranked by unemployment rates:

1. Palm Coast MSA 15.5 %
2. Sebastian-Vero Beach MSA 14.2
3. Ocala MSA 13.8
4. Port St. Lucie MSA 13.7
5. Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall MD 13.1
6. Cape Coral-Ft. Myers MSA 12.9
7. Lakeland-Winter Haven MSA 12.5
8. Punta Gorda MSA 12.3
9. Naples-Marco Island MSA 12.2
10. Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach MSA 11.9
11. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater MSA 11.8
12. North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota MSA 11.8
13. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville MSA 11.8
14. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Pompano Beach MSA 11.8
15. West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach MD 11.7
Florida 11.6
16. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford MSA 11.2
17. Jacksonville MSA 10.9
18. Panama City-Lynn Haven-Panama City Beach MSA 10.4
19. Ft. Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach MD 10.1
20. Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent MSA 10.1
United States 9.0
21. Tallahassee MSA 8.1
22. Gainesville MSA 7.8
23. Crestview-Ft. Walton Beach-Destin MSA 7.8

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8 Responses for “Flagler Unemployment Falls to 15.5%, But County Labor Force Shrinks By 1.5%”

  1. A Reader says:

    A town with a decreasing workforce, and the highest rate of unemployment in the state continues to push a new town hall down upon the taxpayers.

    Haven’t these politicians figured out that tax revenues (real estate) are decreasing and will continue to decrease for a number of years.

    But they will have a brand spanking new building to meet and do business.

    What is worse is that some of the citizens have been convinced that a new town hall is a good thing.

  2. New media needs to be held accountable says:

    I still think these kinda of statistics are nothing but inflammatory. Of course PC has a high unemployement rate, it is what we always considered a “bedroom community”. Anyone who moved to PC to get a job in PC wasn’t thinking straight! What do you want the County/City to do? I just don’t get it.

  3. Liana G says:

    New media needs to be held accountable:

    Correct me if I am wrong but the fact that they are counted as unemployed means that they were employed at one time but have lost their jobs and are/were collecting unemployment, even if it means they were working in another city and choose to make PC their home. I don’t believed that retirees are counted as unemployed. I choose to be a stay at home mom and have been so for more years than I can remember – does this mean I am counted as unemployed too.

    What we would have like the city to do was to not build all those houses and new schools since these promoted a flase perception. Most parents with school age children work so PC should have stuck to promoting PC as a “bedroom community” rather than advertising their ‘A’ schools and enticing working families to move. We moved here because of the advertised ‘A’ schools even though my spouse was transferred to Daytona Beach, a 45 minute drive from PC. Now because of PC state of affairs – my house has and will continue to decrease in value, and taxes will continue to increase to offset this depreciated home value. I don’t mind paying higher taxes but I like to see what I’m getting in return and a million dollar fire truck, a taj mahal type city hall, banana republic mentality gov’t , over priced land purchase, etc, etc, are not what I want my tax dollars spent on.

  4. Palm Coast Pioneers says:

    Why we Palm Coast Pioneers chose Palm Coast is because we did not was a retirement or bedroom community::
    ‘An Approach to a New City: Palm Coast’ by Dr. J. Norman Young and Dr. Stanley Dea,
    FR: Environmental Affairs, Volumn 2, Number 1, Spring 1972
    Prologue
    It is self-evident that our earth is finite and that our population is growing. In ever increasing numbers, man must be sheltered, and the shelter, of course, must cover land. Transportation media to and from the shelter must cover land. Shops and service facilities must cover land. Who will say that land should not be cleared for at least these purposes, assuming an increase in population?
    Proceeding from this starting point, we quickly arrive at the most sensitive area of environmental turmoil: making certain that when man clears and improves land, he simultaneously maximizes environmental integrity and maintains ecosystem continuity. thus being the challenges to us at Palm Coast. In our deliveration on the environment and ecosystems, as will be seen, much consideration has been given to both plant and animal life. Every attempt has been and shall be made to assure maintenance of al parameters of life cycles. Literature, both scientific and lay, is full of differing criteria with regard to protection for various plants and animals. In all candor, there is no way that all the sincere voices can be satisfied.
    At Palm Coast, the preponderance of voices will have a city more satisfactory in the ecological sense than ever before anywhere. Neither perfection nor utopia will result…only the best that our talents, time, energies and resources can produce. At Palm Coast, given the fact of biological synergism, we do speak for plant life…and we do speak for animal…but most of all we speak for man.
    Dr. J. Norman Young
    Page 128
    …Palm Coast will be neither a “sudden city’ nor an ‘instant’ one but will grow in accordance with a pre-planned program, no matter whether it flourishes twenty, thirty, or forty years from now. Palm Coast is a strip of land thirty miles long at its longest, ten miles wide at its widest, covering approximately 160 square miles. It is a fact that under the controls we will institute, despite its being larger in extent than Detroit or Philadelphia, it will have a density of say, Beverly Hills, California. But more on this later. Palm Coast has about six miles of ocean front, approximately twenty miles on the Intracoastal Waterway, and will have significant man made water areas.
    …Palm Coast has committed major efforts toward preserving or enhancing the balance of nature in the planning and development of a future city for 750,000 . people
    …’
    The Palm Coaster, 1987: ‘The State of Palm Coast’ p.16.
    ‘The taxable value of the Palm Coast Service District has increased almost 600 percent since 1980, from 102 million to 566 million at the end of 1986. During that time the population increased from about 4,500 to almost 10,000 today. In other words, while the population has doubled, the assessed value for tax purposes has increased almost six times. Economic growth is the primary reason…bringing in more tax revenues without additional burden on residents…
    Palm Coast emerging personality is a combination of our company activity and the strong, ongoing commitment of residents and local government…Palm Coast has matured to the stage where responsibilities for public services are being picked up by the public- a sign of a healthy, progressive community…
    For years, CDC was the only game in town. That isn’t true anymore. We have a good balance here now…industry, recreation, outside businesses coming in, healthy competition in the marketplace, government facilities, public services, schools, activities and residents who are making a difference. We remain the major catalyst, but our involvement in the running of this community is demising , as Palm Coast residents move toward self-government and self-reliance…
    Palm Coast is BOOMING and the Future looks bright…

  5. Palm Coast Pioneers says:

    P.S. We really miss many of the pledged Amenities, their feature, and all the promised Improvements we once had; when we get sad sometimes we look at pictures we have of the things we paid for…

  6. pc says:

    Liana,

    Only those who are over 16, unemployed, and actively looking for employment are counted as unemployed. Others, such as yourself, are not part of the equation.

    I think Congress did a good job cutting off unemployment. There are far too many people who are collecting unemployment and not looking hard enough for a new job or looking for other opportunities that they might make for themselves. Hopefully, this will get people off their butts and up and looking for those opportunities, even if it means taking a pay cut.

  7. New media needs to be held accountable says:

    Can the City, or could the City have, controlled what someone built on what land? I assume it is zones for commerical, residential, etc. If someone buys the land and builds, is that the city’s leaders’ fault? I think Congress should have given more unemployment, but they should be monitoring it, that’s a joke! Pretty had to get someone to take a pay cut when unemployment pays better too. I wish there was an easy fix and I wish there were better controls on the dispensing our our tax dollars. However, I don’t think there are jobs for everyone who needs one and at times like this the lazy people just use the economy for an excuse. But, I believe that most people who are unemployed WANT to work. I’m going on 10 years and am amazed by the progress in that time, you can never please everyone.

  8. Liana G says:

    In response to PC who wrote –

    “I think Congress did a good job cutting off unemployment. There are far too many people who are collecting unemployment and not looking hard enough for a new job or looking for other opportunities that they might make for themselves. Hopefully, this will get people off their butts and up and looking for those opportunities, even if it means taking a pay cut.”

    Florida among nation’s worst in unemployment pay – The Sun Sentinel

    Florida ranks as one of the lowest-paying states in the nation in what it pays unemployed workers.

    Whether you lose a $30,000-a-year job or one that pays six figures, your maximum unemployment compensation breaks out to $6.88 an hour, less than what most fast-food restaurant workers make in South Florida.

    The state’s $275 weekly maximum benefit hasn’t changed in 10 years and is making the economic downturn more painful for Florida residents, as more join the unemployment rolls each month.

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