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Flagler Unemployment Improves to 13.5%, Florida’s to 9.6% as Trend Solidifies

| March 13, 2012

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Flagler County’s unemployment for December was revised downward to 13.5 percent, from 13.9 percent, and the county’s January unemployment remained at that level, Florida’s labor department announced this morning, but Flagler is keeping its distinction as the state with the highest unemployment in the state. Florida’s unemployment fell to 9.6 percent. The national unemployment rate is at 8.3 percent.

But Flagler and Florida both lost jobs between December and January. Florida’s employment rolls fell by 38,000, the first such drop in almost a year. Far fewer people are actively looking for work in Florida. Gov. Rick Scott’s administration downplayed the report, foregoing the usual high-profile announcements.

Flagler’s 13.5 percent rate is the lowest since the 11.8 percent rate in December 2008. But job creation is not the reason. The county had 904 fewer people employed in January, compared with December, with total employment falling from 29,407 in December to 28,504. The labor force also shrank significantly, from 33,984 in December to 32,966 in January, a drop of 1,018, or 3 percent. Jobs normally decrease from December to January as retailers shed holiday staffing. The year-over-year drop (from January 2011 to January 2012) is less than half that number, at 476. The number nevertheless suggests that the trend of the last couple of years isn’t reversing: the county is not adding population, and may be shedding it.

Most job sectors saw declines in Florida, led by education and health services (a decline of 11,000), government (a loss of 8,100 jobs, including 5,200 jobs in local governments), trade and transportation (6,200 jobs lost), construction (6,200 jobs lost) and professional and technical services (7,300 jobs lost). In percentage terms, education and health services, followed by construction, were the leading sectors losing jobs.

There were slight gains in information (1,800 jobs), finance (1,900), and hotels and food establishments (5,500).

Hernando County has the second-worst unemployment rate in the state, at 12.8 percent, followed by four counties with an 11.8 percent unemployment rate–St. Lucie, Putnam, Hendry and Dixie.

Monroe had the lowest unemployment rate, at 5.7 percent, followed by Okaloosa and Walton, both at 6.9 percent. St. Johns County is among the healthier counties in the state, with an unemployment rate of 8 percent. Volusia County’s rate is at 10 percent.

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14 Responses for “Flagler Unemployment Improves to 13.5%, Florida’s to 9.6% as Trend Solidifies”

  1. roco says:

    Are these real time numbers or can it be that people are leaving the county to seek employment else where??

  2. Looking forward to Panera opening. That is a dangerous place to hang out :)

  3. Charlie Ericksen, Jr says:

    Do these numbers reflect the recent closing of a long term liquor store , in the Palm Harbor Shopping Ctr, that employed upwards of 14 employees, until the new ABC Liquor opened in the same parking lot.? Traded one employer for the other. But the good news is that the old liquor store will re-open in European Village, along with a Pub. Maybe there is still life in the old Village!! Let’s hope so!!

  4. Needs Vacation says:

    Bloomberg reported March 13, 2012 Florida had the worst job production nationwide in January with 40,000 jobs lost, resulting in Florida’s unemployment rate dropping from 9.9% to 9.6%. So under this model the more jobs Florida loses the lower the unemployment rate will drop. This model is unquestionably incorrect and Floridians should be outraged.

    Where are the jobs Mr. Scott.
    You said you were bringing jobs to Florida, yet the data says you’re wrong, way wrong.
    It appears Floridians are abandoning Florida.

    Where are the comments regarding this issue.
    Evidence people have plain given up and discontinued blogging this issue.

  5. And my son applied, got no phone call back, as with every other business he has applied to in Palm Coast…He is an Army All American for God Sake!!!!!!!

  6. Johnny Taxpayer says:

    I find it very interesting the difference in tone between this article talking about Florida’s unemployment rate, and this article talking about the overall US unemployment rate.

    Both stories about unemployment rates, both stories about how the unemployment rates have gone down, yet with two very different observations. The story on the US unemployment rate plays up all the positives, and fails to even address the fact that the primary reason the US unemployment rate has continued to drop is because more and more individuals are leaving the work force, not because there is overwhelming job growth. Any job growth is good, but the job growth we are seeing comes no where near accounting for the big drop in unemployment rates. However, compare that with the Florida and Flager unemployment rate story above, and you see this fact outlined almost immediately, and the author goes out of his way to ensure the Rick Scott is mentioned, essentially so he can be blamed.

    So two stories, essentially about the same thing, unemployment rates dropping due to labor force shrinking, yet one is written to make President Obama look good while the other goes out of it’s way to make sure Rick Scott is assigned blame. I guess consistency is too much to ask for?

    • FlaglerLive says:

      Johnny Taxpayer, Florida lost a net 38,000 jobs in the last reported month, the national economy added a net 223,000. The labor force in Flagler and Florida is shrinking, which means fewer people are looking for work. The national labor force, as evidenced by the participation rate, went up significantly, though is still nowhere near pre-recession levels, but still indicative of more people returning to the labor force. We pointed out the caveat about the national numbers being possibly inflated, including the White House’s own cautions about making too much of the numbers. You may be looking between the lines for things that aren’t there, and missing the basic numbers. If you think this site tries to make Obama look good, you don’t seem to have been paying attention.

  7. Cristina Bonomolo-Ryan via Facebook says:

    oh yeah, panera will bring maybe 40 jobs (and i think that’s aiming high) and there are HUNDREDS that want those 40 positions! would love to know how they came up with this number, because there are NO JOBS in palm coast!….and rebecca above, NO ONE seems to call back or respond AT ALL anymore around here! it’s a joke! all the apps are online too now, no personal contact whatsoever. you are “scored” by a computer, and if you don’t meet that “score”, the employer doesn’t even see your app!

  8. Gia says:

    If you think the job market will improve here, forget it. This is an area of retirement.

  9. Alkey says:

    Flagler County could put 30 people to work picking up trash on our beaches and streets. Oh, never mind I forgot that the county uses FREE LABOR from our county jails. Well, Flagler County could put 100 people to work cutting grass and landscaping the county roads. Oh, never mind again, the county FREE LABOR prisoners are doing those jobs also. Oh well, I tryed !

  10. palmcoaster says:

    Frank Meeker our Palm Coast councilman is hard working on this great bounty/reward idea to promote Economic Development and all Palmcoasters and specially Palm Coast City Council and Mayor, should support it. The project will be rewarding any PC city resident or business owner, that invites and achieves the goal of bringing a new non competitive with the already existing business, to rent/buy vacant office space, hire local unemployed workers and open doors in our city. Councilman’s Meeker idea will cost us nothing, as the rewards will be paid out of the new tax revenue generated by the new business in town and also and most important will help to reduce our 13.5% unemployment rate by creating new jobs. Mr Meeker is being opposed on his proposal by Mayor Netts, Jr Councilman DeLorenzo and not too unconvinced Jr Councilman McGuire. The alleged opposition has not real bases at all. Let our local residents professionals and business owners invite their friends out of the county, out of Florida and even out of our country to come and bring their non competing businesses to open doors here and lets properly reward them..even if after 3 months of the enterprise opening date.
    Lets support Mr. Meeker and lets give it a try, as will cost us nothing to start by being advertised in the same utility bill newsletter that we all receive, within the same TV city space utilized for other venues now and by inviting our local news media outlets, newspapers, radio, Internet to write a community editorial about the innovative proposal. What about also inviting a major broadcasting program MSNBC,CNN,ABC, 60 Minutes to interview our Councilman Meeker in this new idea for ED? We sure need it as being the highest or second, unemployment rate county in Florida.
    @ De Lorenzo; cost to tax payers none as the new tax revenue will pay for it.
    @Netts; invited businesses will have to be non competitive with the already existing one’s
    @McGuire; until we see success, the reward should be paid 3 months after business opens and employees show on payroll.
    Just make a packet with those several costly brochures already printed that we see around, to be mailed by the resident or business person contacting a prospective and have them ready for pick up at city hall. Is a no loosing proposal as will cost us zero up front.
    Then lets all give a hand to Councilman’s Meeker proposal!

  11. Think first, act second says:

    Lipstick on a pig doesn’t change the base fact, it is still a pig. 13.5% sounds better than 17.3% but the result is the same, it is still the highest in Florida and still close to the top in the U. S.
    The local, state and federal governments are not job generators, but I know that Caterpillar recently chose Athens Ga as a site for a new manufacturing plant. Does anyone remember the local Enterprise Flagler or local governments, city and county, ever mentioning knowing that Caterpillar was looking. It will start with 1400 jobs, some moving back from Japan. Thanks local Community development guys for being on top of this one, (NOT). Here is the link.

  12. palmcoaster says:

    @Thinkfirst. You are correct regarding Caterpillar…our local high dollar ED elite VIP’s and FCCOShamer are too busy raking our taxes wasted on them and their personal benefit interest, for their bogus ED or TDC, to find opportunities like Caterpillar to settle here. Deja vu! When we have an elected official like Councilman Frank Meeker with an innovative idea of a reward for bringing new businesses at no cost to the taxpayers, he is not supported by his peers in the city council.

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