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Flagler and US Diverge as Unemployment Here Climbs Again to 16%

| March 10, 2011

florida unemployment january 2011

Click on the graph for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Flagler County’s January unemployment rate in January rose to 16 percent, continuing its see-sawing within the same high range it’s been stuck in for a year and a half and bucking the national trend. Unemployment in the United States fell to 9 percent in January, and to 8.9 percent last month. Florida’s unemployment rate dipped slightly, to 11.9 percent, in January.

Flagler’s unemployment rose from 15.7 percent last month even as the labor force shrank slightly, and a net 186 jobs were lost. Flagler is again the leader in unemployment among Florida’s 67 counties, exceeding second-place Hernando County by almost full percentage point (Hernando is at 15.1 percent), and third-place Marion by almost two points (Marion is at 14.2 percent). The Palm Coast metropolitan statistical area’s 16 percent unemployment rate is almost two points higher than the next-worst MSA, that of Ocala, which is at 14.2 percent. The numbers suggest that even as parts of the state begin to shake off the worst of the recession, the Palm Coast-Flagler County area remains a laggard, at least for now.

The numbers do not yet reflect the 214 jobs that were added at Olive Garden and Red Lobster (where a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Wednesday). Those jobs were filled in late February and early March, and won;t be reflected until subsequent jobs reports. On the other hand, there’s been continued job losses at Palm Coast Data, but in small batches.

In Florida, 1.1 million workers remain unemployed as the state lost 12,900 jobs in January. Unlike the rest of the nation, where private-sector employment has been growing steadily, if not yet robustly, for half a year, the state has struggled to get out of the recession, adding a mere 8,400 jobs over 12 months, a change of just 0.1 percent.

Florida’s Consumer Confidence Index for February remained steady at 77 as reported by the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research, unchanged from the January rate and maintaining some improvement over the past three years. The index had risen seven points the previous month. More Floridians now feel it is a good time to buy big-ticket items, and Floridians’ perceptions of the U.S. economy over the next year also improved slightly. Factors contributing to Floridians’ confidence include an upward trend in the stock market, a steady increase in wages and several companies announcing intentions to hire more employees.

Some highlights of the January jobs report: The industry gaining the most jobs over the past year is leisure and hospitality (that is, tourism), which added 32,600 jobs. Education and health services added 13,000 jobs, trade, transportation, and utilities added 9,300. Industries losing jobs over the year include construction (a loss of 24,000 jobs, or 6.7 percent), financial activities (7,700 jobs), manufacturing (6,100 jobs, although manufacturing job increases in the rest of the nation have been especially strong), information (5,200 jobs) and government (1,900 jobs).

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13 Responses for “Flagler and US Diverge as Unemployment Here Climbs Again to 16%”

  1. K says:

    I wonder what the percentage will be once all of the teachers in Flagler County that will have to be cut are officially unemployed.

    Thank you Rick Scott.

  2. palmcoaster says:

    With Scott’s budget cuts will be even higher the unemployment in Flagler…Just wait and see. Our public workers are further at risk here. Unless that we all rally against it, and threat with a governor and cronies recall.

  3. Jack says:

    Unfortunately Florida’s Constitution provides no way of removing a governor, Cabinet member or legislator from office. Time to gather signatures for a new ballot initiative! I’m sure it we could find enough folks.

  4. palmcoaster says:

    I have to believe what you say Jack or when I find time read our Fl constitution myself. Is very hard to believe that we can’t remove a governor or any of the others…

  5. The Truth says:

    Are the pro-republican people happy now? You got your way, your republican won the election and is now hurting our state even more. Be careful what you wish for.

  6. Christie2012 says:

    Nancy Pelosi on telling America that unemployment benefits are “One of the biggest stimulus’s to our economy.”

    Wait – it gets better.

    Speaker Pelosi says that unemployment benefits are actually “Job creating” and that unemployment benefits “Create jobs faster than almost any other initiative you can name.”

  7. Jack says:

    Mark Zandi, Moody’s chief economist and a former adviser to John McCain. Zandi estimated that extending unemployment insurance benefits provides significant stimulus. For example, that UI generates $1.64 of GDP per dollar spent in the first year, a bang-for-the-buck that is exceeded in his calculations only by the $1.73 generated by an increase in food stamp benefits.

    Fact check it here if you like,

  8. PC MAN says:

    Nancy Pelosi has never been the Governor of Florida. We have had a Republican Governor since January 1999, you can’t run from the facts.
    And Christie in 2012 ? I hope the White House storage still has Taft’s reinforced bed and chairs.

  9. dlf says:

    Blame who want to but how is hope and change working out for these people who do not have a job?

  10. PC MAN says:

    dlf do you blame the fireman for not being fast enough to pull you out of the fire or the arsonist who put you there ?

  11. The Truth says:

    dlf: What do you believe McCain would have done differently that would have sparked our economy even more?

    While some are jobless because of the tough economy, many others are simply lazy. They don’t want to put forth the effort to make a living. They would rather live off of the unemployment benefits for 99 weeks rather than taking a job that will only give them a “little more” than what they’re getting in unemployment. Many feel they are “better” than too many jobs that are available and remain jobless because of it.

    PC MAN: I couldn’t have said it better myself. I love how the republicans expect our economy to get fixed in two years yet they weren’t saying nothing when “their” president was destroying it for 8 years.. so much so that re-elected the moron.

  12. PC MAN says:

    The Truth, I have to disagree with you on one issue, I was on lay off in 2002 and now know a lot of people who have lost jobs in the last few years and the big misconception is that if you applied for any job available you would get it. I applied for everything, store clerk,dishwasher,car detailer,lawn service but these companies know that if you have other talents you will leave them at the first better offer, so they just pass on you, it was a humbling experience.

  13. The Truth says:

    PC MAN: I’m sorry, after re-reading my post it did seem like I meant something that I didn’t.

    By no means am I saying it’s easy to get a job and there are a LOT of great people who are out of a job right now. I understand we are in a difficult time and many people are struggling to find work.

    My point was simply that there are some people (who I know personally) who use the economy as an excuse. They are not as experienced as they think yet they are some of the most pickiest people I have ever seen regarding taking a job. They take advantage of the unemployment and feel as if they can wait to take a job.

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