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Unemployment Drops Sharply in Flagler, to 11.3%, as State and U.S. Trends Also Improve

| November 16, 2012

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Flagler County’s unemployment rate in September dropped sharply to 11.3 percent, from a revised 12 percent in August, as improving economies statewide and in the country continue to to trickle down even to the counties hardest hit by the Great Recession. Flagler’s 11.3 percent rate is the lowest in four years: it was last at 11.3 in November 2008.

Florida’s unemployment rate also fell, to 8.5 percent, a level last seen in January 2009, when it was 8.6 percent. The national rate is at 7.9 percent, although job creation nationally has been more brisk than it’s been in Florida. October numbers were slightly more brisk: the ranks of the unemployed fell by 18,000, the number of people holding jobs increased by 21,700 (for a total of 7.4 million), but the labor force grew by 42,000, a sign that more people are willing to rejoin the workforce. Net job creation, in other words, was just over 12,000. Nationally, too, the labor force has been growing rapidly, and faster than jobs, a sign of optimism. In previous months, Florida’s unemployment rate had fallen more because people were leaving the workforce altogether than because they were seeking or finding jobs.

Florida has created just 67,600 jobs over the past 12 months, continuing a trend of about 6,500 new jobs a month since Gov. Rick Scott took office. Campaigning for governor, Scott had pledged to create 700,000 new jobs in seven years in addition to natural job creation. (In Scott’s words, “that plan is on top of what normal growth would be.”) He then back-tracked, saying he would just create 700,000, denying that he’d ever said he would do so on top of normal growth. Despite the change in his accounting method, Florida’s tally in the first 21 months of Scott’s administration remains well short of meeting the pledge. Counting October numbers, the state has added 152,500 jobs in 21 months, an average of 7,260 jobs amonth, more than 2,000 jobs a month short of Scott’s revised goal.

“We are creating an environment that fosters job creation, economic development and provides a skilled workforce,” Scott said today. “My number one goal is to create jobs for Florida families and get this state back to work.” And borrowing a phrase from Barack Obama’s election-night victory speech (“we’ve got a lot more work to do”), Scott added: There is still more work that needs to be done, but I’m confident we’re on the right path.”

No single job sector showed strong job creation in October. But no single job sector showed significant losses, either. In the plus column, retail trade was the largest winner, with 8,400 new jobs (or just under a 1 percent increase), as shops get ready for the holiday season. Administrative and waste services added 5,300 jobs, education and health services added 5,100, and government, led by state government, added 2,600 jobs, a surprising switch from a long run of job losses in state and local government.

In the losing column, non-durable goods lost 1,200 jobs, transportation, warehousing and utilities lost 1,400, information lost 1,200, finance and insurance lost 2,200, professional and technical services lost 5,300, and leisure and hospitality, which includes the tourism industry, lost 3,300 jobs.

For all the improving news, Flagler County remains stubbornly near the top of the chart among the counties most burdened by unemployment. Hendry County is first, with unemployment at 12.6 percent, but Flagler is second, at 11.3 percent, followed by St. Lucie, at 10.9 percent, and Putnam, at 10.3 percent. Monroe County is best at a North Dakota-like rate of 4.7 percent, followed by Walton (5.4 percent), Okaloosa (5.7) and Wakulla (5.9).

Flagler County and Florida Unemployment Report, October 2012

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13 Responses for “Unemployment Drops Sharply in Flagler, to 11.3%, as State and U.S. Trends Also Improve”

  1. Angela Smith says:

    I’ll hold off on celebrating until a job comes MY way.

    • Anonymous says:

      Angela, go to and type in Palm Coast, FL — there are jobs here.

    • The Truth says:

      With all due respect, many people seem to associate whether or not they have a job or not with the President’s performance. Let’s be real here: Palm Coast has never been a hotbed for jobs. When the housing boom was going on, things were doing well because builders and realtors were everywhere and there was plenty to be had. When things collapsed, all of those jobs went away and those people had to find jobs elsewhere. The biggest employers in Palm Coast are: Flagler County Schools, Palm Coast Data and the City of Palm Coast. We have several retail stores now and many more options, but this community is not meant for the 25-50 generation who’s looking for work. You’ll need to travel to Daytona Beach, Jacksonville or Orlando for this work. It’s the sad and unfortunate truth, but it’s the way Palm Coast has been for a long time now.

  2. Carlo says:

    These reports are “RIGGED”. Most of the unemployed from last year have given up looking for work. The population of Flagler County has decreased for the last 4 years. There are ” NO NEW JOBS”, its just more people LEAVING ! Florida is like the TITANIC….Its slowly sinking into the abyss, just a little faster then the rest of America.

    • The Truth says:

      Oh please – I’m so sick of hearing from whiny Republican’s claiming it’s the end of America, it’s the end of the world, Obama is going to socialize the country, blah blah blah. Get over it, your nominee lost. The election is over and it’s time for America to move on. We will not move past the problems we face unless both parties work together. You’d think Republican’s would have realized this but unfortunately that’s not the case.

    • Anonymous says:

      Carlo, there are 292 jobs within 15 miles of Palm Coast and 1,036 jobs within 25 miles as of my search one minute ago. It is messages like these that misinform the public and job seekers. Go to and type in Palm Coast, FL. I am a recruiter and it is unbelievable how many jobs are open all over the U.S.

      • Carlo says:

        I saw those. Most people can not afford to pay for Truck Driving School before they are offered a job.
        And I don’t have 12 years to go back to school to get my Nursing degree. However, I may be able to apply for that Grass Cutting position if I can be the one sitting on a riding lawnmower. Me and weedeaters just don’t get along ! How come their are never any GOOD paying jobs around here. Ones I can actually pay my living cost and buy gas ?

        • Dorothea says:


          Have you spoken to the recruiter at the truck driving school? There may be other ways of paying for the training that the recruiter may be aware of.

          Have you taken some time to speak with anyone at Daytona Beach State College? They may have opportunities that you are not aware of. It doesn’t have to take 12 years to get a nursing degree if you are willing to start with a basic course. The college also has other opportunities that take a lot less than 12 years. They may even have scholarships available.

          What skills do you have that are prerequisite to a good paying job? You have to start somewhere.

  3. Yellowstone says:

    Well now, looky there . . . I now admit I was wrong! One man, single-handedly can get unemployment down.

    All the Pres did was get re-elected, he flipped the switch, and all is good.

    Merry Christmas everyone . . . .

  4. Lonewolf says:

    Thank you Mr. President

  5. Deep South says:

    This happens every year, businesses are hiring seasonal employment because of the snowbirds returning and the holidays. Come April the unemployment will go up, because the snowbirds have left. Florida has always been a tourist industry. The President has nothing to do with this It’s all supply and demand.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Opinions, yes, Everyone has them… The facts are hard to dispute, …The Truth is often elusive, Peace is a state of mind… Happy Thanksgiving…. !!!…. Feed Flagler…

  7. confidential says:

    Unfortunately this unemployment numbers will increase by 70 to 80 more job losses when the Palm Coast FAA training facility closes in the Palm Coast Parkway East median coming December 21st. Not only the well paid jobs but also the 198 occupied rooms that brought students to spend their dollars here

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