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Flagler Unemployment Flat at 14.7%, Florida’s Also Stalled at 10.7%

| August 19, 2011

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Last Updated: 10:57 a.m.

Flagler County’s unemployment rate in July was unchanged from June’s revised 14.7 percent (last month’s original rate was 14.6 percent). Florida’s unemployment rate also stalled at 10.7 percent, with 987,000 Floridians out of work.

Flagler County has the second-highest unemployment rate in the state after Hendry’s 18.8 percent. Indian River and St. Lucie counties are third, at 13.8 percent. But in terms of metropolitan statistical areas, Palm Coast’s remains at the top of the chart, with 14.7 percent unemployment, followed by the Sebastian-Vero Beach MSA, at 13.8 percent, and Port St. Lucie, at 12.9 percent.

The state lost 22,100 jobs in July. (See the full report below.)

In July, the construction sector saw a steep loss, with a drop of 5,800 jobs, or 1.7 percent, adding to a year-long loss of 23,000 jobs. Information, finance, professional and business services all lost. But by far the largest loss was in government, which shed 11,200 jobs, including 9,700 local government jobs. In the last 12 months, government has lost 16,900 jobs.

Education services and retail trade each added 3,800 jobs in July, posting the best performance of any sector.

“Mixed signals from economic indicators during recovery are common,” Cynthia Lorenzo, the state’s labor department director, said in a release. “Fluctuations in rates of unemployment and job growth are typical examples of starts and stops while the economy rebounds and unemployed workers who may have given up looking for work rejoin the workforce.

If in fact discouraged workers were rejoining the workforce, the state’s labor pool would have grown. It is shrinking instead, suggesting that more workers are leaving the workforce–and more workers are being dropped off the jobless rolls because their unemployment benefits have run out. The Florida Legislature this year dramatically shortened the number of weeks unemployed workers are entitled to unemployment checks. Once workers are bumped off the unemployment rolls, they no longer count as unemployed, even though they still are. The result is an artificially lowered unemployment figure even as the actual number of unemployed persons may be rising.

Flagler County’s labor force, for example, is 1,052 smaller in July than it was a year ago, a 3.1 percent decline that suggests either that the county’s population has declined or that a significant number of people have left the labor force for a variety of reasons: retirement, jobless benefits running out, discouragement from looking for work.

Florida’s numbers also do not distinguish between those employed full time and those involuntarily employed part-time, because they could not find full-time work or because their hours were cut. All workers with jobs, including part-time jobs, are counted as fully employed.

Florida Jobs and Unemployment Report, July 2011

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4 Responses for “Flagler Unemployment Flat at 14.7%, Florida’s Also Stalled at 10.7%”

  1. Murphy says:

    The real number is closer to 18.9% to 21.7 %. Its amazing how the numbers can be re-arranged to make it seem unchanged. So if your job is now 4 hours a week your listed as a “full time” employee. And if you one of thousands who have given up looking for work, then your not included in the percentage.

  2. Nick D says:

    You have to love these fake numbers they keep giving us. Again, these numbers are not including the people who are still unemployed and not receiving unemployment benefits. And to make things worse our local municipalities have no plan to get us out of it.

    However, I have come to understand by talking to people in the community that economic development (new businesses/jobs/growth) is not something most Flagler County Residents want. I completely understand that the majority moved here seeking a small quiet community to live in (retire to), but something has to give.

    The issue I have is being 30 years old and unable to find work in a community that does not want to grow. It’s frustrating… I have watched as several friends have moved away (even out of state) in order to find work. I can only “sit and wait” so long before I will need to decide to do the same; it’s a matter of survival. But that’s the great thing about this country…if you don’t like the way people want to live around you, you are free to move to a place that’s more conducive to your life’s needs.

  3. Jack says:

    @Nick D: You can move to the Republican/Tea Party bastion they call Texas, I hear 4 in 10 jobs pay minimum wage. I can’t think of a better place for Republicans. They hate illegal immigrants, hate gays have the highest number of uninsured in the U.S. and have a shitty public education system, everything Florida is trying to become.

  4. Mary says:

    As a small business owner in Flagler County I wanted to let all the folks out there looking for work know that we sympathyize with your plight. We’ve hired countless people, and simply due to the nature of a new business, we can’t guarantee weekly hours, but we try darn hard! We understand and encourage our employees to get other part-time work if they can to supplement what we can’t cover. Our biggest problem, other than the endless supply of new regulations and guidelines that are expensive, is not usually the lack of work but the apathy of the part-time employees who would rather baby sit their grand kids, wash their cars, visit with out-of-town company, or go shopping rather than drive 5 to15 miles out of their neighborhood to work. We’ve even paid for gas to help or offer to drive them to the work site!

    Hiring an employee is an expensive process for any employer, regardless of the businesses size. The latter example of employee is costing not only the employer money, but it’s costing those looking for work. Why? Employers tend to keep dependable employees busier than they want to be verses hiring more employees who say they want work but don’t perform.

    So to all of you looking for work, I’m so sorry that you are struggling. This economy has made it very tough on everyone. You, the ones looking for work and those of us trying to keep the doors of our businesses open while being required to absorb more and more costs brought about by new governmental rules and regulations and employees that frankly don’t give a darn!

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