The federal, state and unemployment rate have flattened out in tandem over the past several months, all three hovering between 4.7 and 5.5 percent, according to Florida’s September unemployment report, released this morning. This is one of those unemployment report where the uptick in the unemployment rate is almost meaningless, compared to other numbers, at least as far as Flagler County’s economy is concerned.
The unemployment rate in September went up a decimal point, to 5.5 percent. But it did so powered by the substantial increase in the local labor force, which added 400 workers over the month, and more impressively, added 1,600 workers over the year. That’s a 3.7 percent increase in the labor force, an indication that residents are not only encouraged to rejoin the labor force, but that working-age people are also gladly moving to Flagler County.
Just as encouragingly, the number of people who live in Flagler County and hold jobs increased in September by 350, to 42,703, an increase of 1,675 job-holders over the year, or 4 percent. That left 2,476 people on the unemployment rolls in September, down from 2,559 at this time last year. To count as a job-holder, a worker need only register a single of paid work in a two-week period, however, so the job numbers reflect full and part-time work, and a proportion of the numbers represent under-employment–that proportion of workers who are working part-time because they can;t find full-time work, or because their hours have been scaled back.
The trend, however, is much brighter than it had been in the past.
In Florida, the 4.7 percent unemployment rate in September was unchanged for the fifth month in a row as the state is managing to absorb new entrants into the workforce, but not going beyond that. In September, the state added 23,000 jobs, with a labor force of 9.8 million and 457,000 people unemployed.
The seasonally adjusted numbers for September show construction adding 3,000 jobs, manufacturing adding 1,100, education and health services adding 6,900 jobs, and leisure and hospitality adding 6,800. Government jobs added 5,100. There was a loss of 1,000 jobs in retail, 1,000 lost jobs in information technology, and 1,000 jobs lost in finance and insurance.
“Nathan Yau of Flowing Data,” Yahoo Finance reports today, “compiled unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which gives a larger picture of what unemployment has looked like over time. He created an animated time-lapse map that shows regional changes in unemployment across the country from 1990 to 2016. Darker areas signify where unemployment is higher, while lighter areas are where unemployment is low.”
The full report is below.