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Flagler Unemployment Drops to 14.9%, Lowest Since May 2009; Florida Improves to 11.5%

| March 25, 2011

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

Flagler County’s unemployment rate fell to 14.9 percent in February as employment grew by 360 over January while the labor force shrank slightly, by 53, in the same period. That’s the lowest unemployment rate in the county since May 2009, when it was 14.4 percent.

But Flagler is holding on to the distinction of having the highest unemployment rate in the state, and by a full percentage point. Hernando County is in second place, at 13.9 percent, followed by Hendry (13.4 percent) and Marion (13.2).

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Florida’s unemployment rate dropped from 11.9 percent to 11.5 percent, the lowest rate since last July, as the breeze of job activity that had been rustling across the nation in the last few months finally reached the Florida peninsula. The state added 22,000 net jobs in February, lowering the number of unemployed Floridians to 1.07 million.

Even construction picked up in Florida, adding 4,400 jobs since January, for a gain of 1.3 percent (over the past 12 months, construction is down 4.5 percent). Other sectors adding jobs included professional and business services (13,800 jobs, or a 1.3 percent increase), administrative and waste services, information technology, educational services, health care and social work and, to a lesser extent, wholesale trade and real estate (the latter picked up 700 jobs).

Sectors losing jobs included leisure and hospitality (3,300 jobs, or a 0.4 percent drop), government (1,200 jobs lost, a 0.1 percent drop; most of the losses were in state government), retail trade, which lost 7,500 jobs, or 0.8 percent, and management (300 jobs, or 0.4 percent).

Monroe County has the state’s lowest unemployment rate (6.9 percent), followed by Liberty (7.1 percent), Alachua (7.7), Leon and Wakulla (7.9) and Okaloosa (8.1). Most of the counties with the lowest unemployment rates are those with relatively high proportions of government employment.

17 Responses for “Flagler Unemployment Drops to 14.9%, Lowest Since May 2009; Florida Improves to 11.5%”

  1. lawabidingcitizen says:


    Unemployment went down because people left the area, not because they got jobs here.

    • FlaglerLive says:

      Incorrect lawabiding: while that may have been true in some previous months, it wasn’t substantially true this month, and looking over the past 12, the labor force today is virtually the same as it was last year. There were 5,358 unemployed people in January. That number is down to 4,945 in February. True, it doesn’t reflect the long-term unemployed who’ve simply dropped out, but those numbers have been decreasing in recent months, not increasing. That, combined with the jump in actual employment locally (the 214 people hired at Red Lobster/Oliver Garden helped), brought the rate down, and rather significantly for once. On the other hand, it’s still more than three times where it should bearably, economically be.

  2. Jojo says:

    As unemployed fall off the unemployment dole they are no longer counted in the system as unemployed. The numbers are severely skewed. If Commissioner Lorenzo gets the numbers down for Gov Scott, it makes the Gov look like he is accomplishing his goal.

  3. dlf says:

    Scott has only been in office for a while and all ready the unemployment number is going down, great job!!

  4. dlf says:

    Jojo: ex governor Chis is not in these numbers he went to work for Morgan and Morgan for the people, that should tell you something. The only thing that has changed is we have a new governor, good job by Scott, well done for Scott, oh we still have the same President maybe he should get some of the credit, no, not yet he has only been in office for two years not long enough to make a change in anything.

  5. The Truth says:

    dlf: Please explain, with your skewed Fox News theories, what Gov. Scott has done to make our unemployment numbers go down?

  6. dlf says:

    The Truth: he has done the same thing CNN tells me Obama has done to make the numbers go down across the USA….he is in office. I was joking in that comment ,but not in this one.


    When Palm Coast Data has their next round of layoff next month that will take care of any decreases in the rate….

  8. christie2012 says:

    Caterpillar may soon be looking for a new home. The new Illinois Governor recently passed a large income tax increase that is driving business’s out of the state. Maybe with a governor that is pro business and is not afraid of the unions, Florida could have chance of bringing in high paying jobs with companies that actually produce something.
    There is also speculation that the fast food chain Jimmy Johns may also leave their Illinois headquarters and move to Florida for the same reasons.

  9. Dorothea says:

    Reagan and Clinton raised taxes and it worked. Reagan lowered taxes and got us into a recession, he then reversed his decision and raised taxes. Clinton raised taxes and gave us a balanced budget. Raising taxes was not a dirty word until the latest round of regressive right wing governors, propped up by their corporate masters, got into office.

    Now the corporations are forum shopping for the best low tax deal they can find without regard to the long term affect on our economy. The country is on a very slippery slope. If American workers get significantly lower salaries to boost corporate profits and to provide the tax breaks which the Republican governors have promised them, which you can bet will happen and is happening, the workers cannot afford to be consumers of the goods being produced.

    Henry Ford had it right. When asked why he paid his workers so well, he responded that he wanted them to be able to afford his cars.

  10. Mike says:

    Oh boy! Jimmy John’s fast food! This will work out PERFECTLY for Rick Scott! One does not need an edu-macation to work there! Since Scotty believes firmly in cutting education funding to bring in big business, plenty of businesses will move here and need simple-minded pawns to work there. Low wage jobs for all! Woo-hoo!

    Jojo: Worry not. The fact that unemployment numbers look “better” has nothing to do with Scott. Indeed, he will take the credit and Republicans will do some jocular posturing, but the knowledgeable and wise will know better.

    DLF: Please proofread. Your run-on sentences are, at best, aggravating. And our former Governor’s name was “Crist,” not “Chris.” If ignorance was bliss, you would be a kite in a typhoon.

  11. just a citizen says:

    JoJo is correct….. they, (The Agency for Workforce Innovation, cute name), don’t report how many of those not on unemployment have just plain run out of benefits. The stat is misleading, they don’t break out the numbers of those that have run out of benefitas and those that actually dropped because they have a job. Please don’t be duped…take a look around you and see how many people ar not workoing and how many jobs are in severe jepordy.
    Like the saying goes….” don’t pee down my back and tell me it’s raining”.

  12. dlf says:

    Mike: please KMA. as if you are the scholar of Flagler. You may want to check your spelling and sentence structure, must be a result of the current education system in Florida. I guess if the all knowing and wise will know why the numbers went down you may still be in the dark. I do the run on sentence just to get under the skin of the elite such as your self, it seems to work, see you at Jimmy John’s and I will leave you a tip.

  13. cupc says:

    Its all fluff and lies. And thats right palm coast data will be gone ! Flagler Palm coast will really turn into the hood. And city hall can move into county jail ! they belong there..

  14. palmcoaster says:

    dfl, is “yourself” not your self. Also Governor Crist went to work for Morgan and Morgan which is absolutely nothing wrong or illegal with it and much better that being head of Columbia Health System and reaping off billions from Medicare like Rick done and becoming wealthy by doing so.

  15. Jojo says:

    The only four years Rick Scott should be doing is in a federal penitentiary (penance).

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