Flagler Unemployment Ticks Up to 8.6% as Labor Force Surges By 2% And Jobs Increase
FlaglerLive | June 20, 2014
Flagler’s unemployment rate in May ticked up slightly to 8.6 percent, from 8.3, but the increase was largely due to a large influx of workers into the labor force, which grew by 727 people over the month, or 2 percent, to 36,068. Flagler County residents with jobs increased by 550, a 1.7 percent improvement over the previous month, for a total of 32,952 people with jobs.
Unemployment in the county remains high relative to the rest of the state, with Flagler again ranking second only to Hendry County in unemployment rate. The number of people without jobs increased by 177, to 3,116, but that figure, too, is driven in large part by the renewed interest in people to rejoin the labor force–or to move to Flagler County. The slightly higher unemployment rate, in other words, masks more positive underlying trends.
Florida’s unemployment rate in May increased by a decimal point, to 6.3 percent, and now matches the national unemployment rate. Net jobs actually decreased by 17,900 in the state, in a labor force of 9.6 million people. Some 606,000 Floridians are out of work, and 7.76 million are employed, according to figures released by the state’s labor department Friday.
More positive monthly jobs announcement are usually preceded by advance notice on the governor’s Twitter feed or revealed at a special speaking engagement. Not today. The announcement was limited to the state’s official release at the labor department, which terms itself the Department of Economic Opportunity. The day’s numbers contrasted somewhat with a focus of the Scott administration on job creation–a focus he’s underscored in campaign commercials.
“Long-term trends demonstrate that Florida’s poised for success,” Scott said in a news release. “Private sector job trends have been on the rise for over three years, our unemployment rate has declined or remained steady for 43 of the last 45 months, and for the fifth month in a row our labor force has grown. Florida’s had an amazing turnaround, and we have to continue working everyday to create jobs for families.”
The News Service of Florida reports that U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the largest over-the-month decrease in employment — 17,900 jobs — occurred in Florida, which was followed by Arizona and Illinois. The largest over-the-month increases in employment occurred in Texas, Pennsylvania, and New York.
But Flagler County had a better month than Florida.
Career Source Flagler-Volusia released the following summary:
The unemployment rate in the FlaglerVolusia region was 6.3 percent in May 2014. The May 2014 rate was 1.4 percentage points lower than the region’s year-ago rate of 7.7 percent, while 0.2 percentage point above the May 2014 state rate of 6.1 percent. Out of a labor force of 292,299, there were 18,454 unemployed residents in the region.
Nonagricultural employment in the Palm Coast metro area–comprising all of Flagler County–was 20,900 in May. Total nonagricultural employment was up 300 jobs (+1.5 percent) over the year. Statewide, employment increased by 2.9 percent over the same time period.
The three industries that gained jobs over the year were leisure and hospitality (+300 jobs); trade, transportation, and utilities (+100 jobs); and mining, logging, and construction (+100 jobs). The industries losing jobs over the year were government and professional and business services (-100 jobs each). Education and health services, other services, information, financial activities, and manufacturing were unchanged over the year.
Employment growth in leisure and hospitality (+8.6 percent) was faster in the metro area than the state. The Palm Coast metro area had the second highest annual employment growth rate in leisure and hospitality of all of the metro areas in the state (+8.6 percent), suggesting that the county’s Tourist Development Council’s strategy of the last couple of years has been paying dividends.