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Flagler Unemployment Creeps Up Again, to 9.4%, But Labor Force and Net Jobs Grow

| March 28, 2014

flagler florida unemployment february 2014 historical graph

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

Flagler County’s unemployment rate again rose in February, to 9.4 percent, a decimal-point increase over the previous month and some 80 more people went on unemployment. But The county’s overall employment went up sharply, by 364 (for a total of 31,976), and the county’s labor force went up even more, by 442–both signs of growing strength in the local economy as more workers seem encouraged to join the labor force, and more workers are actually finding jobs.

The combined single-month gain in jobs and the growth in the labor force makes February’s numbers among the best in the recovery, even though Flagler remains second only to Hendry County’s 9.8 percent rate, leading the state in that category.

Florida added 33,400 jobs in February, the single-best month for job creation in Gov. Rick Scott’s administration, though the unemployment rate stalled at 6.2 percent for the third straight month. There were 588,000 officially jobless Floridians out of a labor force of 9,515,000, according to Florida’s labor department.

As in Flagler, Florida’s labor force participation rate, which is labor force divided by the total civilian population, grew. It was 60.2 percent in February, up 0.3 percentage point from the January 2014 participation rate of 59.9 percent. So while the unemployment rate held steady, the increase in the labor force meant more people got jobs.

The unemployment figure, however, masks the larger figure that accounts for those who have dropped out of the labor force altogether or have run out of unemployment benefits, and those who are working part-time because they cannot find full-time work, or because their hours have been cut back against their will. When underemployed and discouraged workers are included, Florida’s unemployment and underemployment rate is 14.3 percent, higher than the national average of 13.8 percent.

“It is clear that businesses are growing and creating more jobs and opportunities for Floridians,” Scott said Friday.

Other encouraging signs: Florida job postings compiled by the Help Wanted OnLine data series from The Conference Board showed 278,717 openings in February 2014, an all-time high in the data series that began in May 2005. Florida median home prices were up 10 percent over the year in February 2014. Housing starts were up 5.9 percent over the year in January 2014.

While the state experienced an unusual out-migration for a few years in the depth of the recession, a recent U.S. Census Survey reported that Florida experienced an influx of people moving into the state. Florida also led the nation in migrations from Puerto Rico.

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9 Responses for “Flagler Unemployment Creeps Up Again, to 9.4%, But Labor Force and Net Jobs Grow”

  1. confidential says:

    How many businesses shut down lately?
    To contribute to the local unemployment rate increase are Government, Schools and Chamber still sending quiet a bit of our tax generated contracts jobs outside Flagler County under ludicrous excuses to cover up well funded favoritism. So, do outsource, too big local entities used and benefited by local residents taxpayers and volunteers like the Hospital, Daytona College Palm Coast Campus and others alike. Then the results are all here for us to enjoy.

  2. Genie says:

    Even with people moving into the state, our unemployment continues to rise here in Flagler. Pathetic.

  3. The Truth says:

    So how does this work again from a Conservative’s point of view:

    Unemployment rate drops, it’s the market correcting itself.

    Unemployment rate rises, it’s Obama’s fault.

    Labor force shrinks, it’s Obama’s fault.

    Labor force grows, thanks Rick Scott!

  4. RHWeir says:

    City and county elected and appointed officials, you can’t keep doing business as usual. The unemployment rate is unacceptable. You need to attract viable, sustainable jobs for your constituents. I am going to decide who to vote for locally in the coming elections primarily by the unemployment rate. Foreclosure tours, flipping houses and development that does not create lasting jobs, is not the way to reduce the unemployment rate. Also, there needs to be pressure to replace top appointed city officials if the unemployment does not come down. 9.4% indicates failure at the top and officials who are not being held accountable to their constituents.

    • Davis says:

      Why would any company come here with the labor pool we have to offer? Uneducated, unmotivated and unemployed. Sounds like our new city slogan.

  5. Joe says:

    We as citizens should be proud of ourselves, we are the ones responsible to hold our political leaders in this community responsible and we don’t. If you don’t like red light cameras, a new city hall, the purchase of an old hospital at 3x’s its value, defunct water treatment plant purchase, the highest unemployment percentage in the state, and the good ole boy network, ect…. Then GET OUT AND VOTE!!! You are responsible to hold them accountable, its that simple!!!

  6. glad I Left Palm Coast says:

    Lookout Florida immigration from Puerto Rico it is going to be dismal, look at the northeast cities of Holyoke Ma, Springfield Ma, New Haven Ct, Bridgeport Ct. All havens for these useless people who suck up resources and our hard earned tax dollars. the high crime, out of control birth rates why not they don’t have to pay for it. It’s a dark day for Florida with these losers. Give Puerto Rico state hood, let them deal with this scourge.

  7. confidential says:

    I do not agree at all, that we do not have an educated labor force here. We do, just there are no jobs. All the Florida tax payers funds to be invested in generating jobs…are invested instead like in the Nascar Speedway hundreds of millions every year to fatten the wallets of the Forbes listed richest Frances family, and the Carnival Lines Aronson’s owned exempted from due taxes requiring hundreds of millions annually in just maintenance of our ports infrastructure for their convenient foreign flag vessels hiring at slave wages all foreign workers and all these millionaires sport teams and their owners always demanding we built their stadiums and more tax exemptions and lets do not forget all these developers getting also millions of our taxes to benefit them a la Town Center CRA, selling us derelict real estate at overpriced rates or getting unnecessary millionire widening, improving of highway infrastructure to benefit their new proposed malls, like right here Palm Harbor and the Parkway East of I-95 also force funded by our Floridian taxes. Yes, who we let to get in office comes around to dig in our pockets and outsource our job opportunities. Florida is great, we just need to choose better officials.

  8. Steven Nobile says:

    Even though this is a national issue, there are many things that can be done at the city and county level to help promote business and job growth. This issue must be attacked in the short, medium and long term plans. Our aggressiveness in bringiung in new business and industry into Palm Coast is doable. We have a great community, location and potential work force. We need to go out and get it. There are many individuals in Palm Coast with the backgrounds needed to participate in making this a greater community, there just needs to be the leadership at the city council level to put these people in motion and give them direction.

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