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Florida’s Unemployment Rate Down to 8.3%, Flagler’s at 11.6%, But Many Drop Out

| May 18, 2012

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Florida’s jobless rate in April fell to 8.7 percent as the state continued an employment rebound that began 11 months ago, the Department of Economic Opportunity reported Friday.

But April’s drop was also affected by the fact that nearly 28,000 job seekers dropped out of the hunt.

In Flagler County, the unemployment rate fell again, steeply, to 11.6 percent, from 12.2 percent in March and 13.5 percent a year ago, though about 220 people also dropped out of the labor force in Flagler. Some 29,429 people held jobs in the county in April, virtually even with the previous month, out of 33,280 people in the labor force (out of a county population of more than 95,000).

The number of jobless in April was 0.3 percentage points lower than March and 1.9 points below April 2011. The national unemployment rate for April was 8.1 percent.

Gov. Rick Scott said the continued downward trend was testament to the state’s economic recovery and bodes well for Florida’s continued climb back toward full employment. The April figures also shows job gains in comparison to the nation as a whole.

“This continued drop in Florida’s unemployment rate is proving our economy is on the path to recovery and Floridians are getting back to work,” Scott said in a statement. “With Florida being ranked as one of the top two states for business in the nation, employers are sure to continue expanding and moving to Florida creating jobs that help us ensure this pattern will continue.”

University of Central Florida economist Sean Snaith, however, say the good news is tempered by the fact that Florida’s civilian labor force shrunk between March and April by 28,000, a shrinking job pool that pushes unemployment lower without putting more people back to work.

Taking into account discouraged workers and those working part time, Florida’s jobless rate was 17.3 percent for the quarter ending March 31.

“Having the unemployment rate fall because people have given up looking for a job is not an improvement,” Snaith said.

Payroll growth has also remained relatively flat, another indication that fewer job seekers are being added to the rolls of employed workers.

“There is not a lot to encourage people to get back in the hunt,” Snaith said.

But the number of available jobs does continue to grow. Overall, the number of jobs in Florida was 7,325,300 in April, up 52,600 jobs compared to a year ago. It was the 21st consecutive month of year-to-year job growth.

Leading sectors of the economy included employment services, which grew by nearly 11 percent, or 16,800 jobs. Education and Health Service employment grew by 2.3 percent, adding 25,100 jobs over the 12 month period.

Construction employment continued its contraction in April. The number of construction jobs shrunk by 7.4 percent year-to-year, a drop of 24,800 jobs in that bellwether sector. Building construction jobs fell by nearly 11 percent.

Monroe County had the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 4.8 percent. It was followed by Walton County (5.2 percent), Okaloosa County (5.7 percent), Franklin County (6.1 percent), and Alachua County (6.2 percent).

Flagler County had the state’s highest jobless rate in April a 11.6 percent. It was followed by Hernando County (10.8 percent); Hendry and St. Lucie counties (10.7 percent each); Dixie County (10.2 percent); and Putnam County (9.9 percent).

The number of counties with double-digit unemployment rates continued to fall, dropping by half from 10 in March to five in April.

–Michael Peltier, News Service of Florida, and FlaglerLive

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9 Responses for “Florida’s Unemployment Rate Down to 8.3%, Flagler’s at 11.6%, But Many Drop Out”

  1. Gia says:

    There not talent in Flagler county to attract business. We don’t want manufacturing or industries.

  2. John Boy says:

    How can Flagler UE Rate go down with Sea Ray cutting 65 employees, was the WARN Act followed or was it not required because these people weren’t Sea Ray employees after all?

  3. palmcoaster says:

    Where do you get that lack of talent impression Gia? There is plenty of talent here, what we need is plenty of investment and stop outsourcing to create jobs. Buy local and use our taxpayers generated contracts with local contractors, other than elsewhere and from store front paying businesses, not from individuals working from home while representing manufacturers located elsewhere in other counties like Volusia or out of the state or the country. Unemployment reduced in Flagler? lets see when the laid off 65 from Sea Ray and the 15 or 20 laid off from the shut doors of the restaurants and businesses folded in Palm Harbor will be accounted for along with many more that is not published.. We are heading for serious trouble if the 5,200 properties in all of this county owing the 2011 and other past years taxes, auction tax certificates are not sold from now to the end of May on the, auction. I figure that may be over 7 million dollars owed..all property taxes. Is not owed by the poor but mostly corporations some that own the Enterprise, Utility Drive, Hargrove, West Point Plaza and other industrial and commercial parks, as well as farmers land and main residences and wealthy folks ocean front vacant land, condos and house properties. This county and cities are in real trouble if those mammoth arrears are not collected but anyway they keep spending like there is not tomorrow and asking us the other 90,600 good paying residents, for more money.. Did everyone see the auctions supplement in the NJ News Tribune? Speaks for itself.

  4. Linda H. says:

    I know two people who have lost their jobs here in the past two months. That’s a pretty high number considering our circumstances.

    I know more who have given up.

  5. Jojo says:

    The sad part of these numbers is that Gov Scott and his Administration are taking credit for lowering the unemployment figures which is far from reality.

    It’s like shoveling manure against the tide. It keeps coming back at you.

    • Betty Boop says:

      The problem in Palm Coast is we have the retirees who came from either Canada, Northern NY /NJ / Long Island and Connecticut who thought this was a place to escape.. SURPRISE!!!!

      Now they are crying out mercy because they have to keep dipping into the retirement funds and want to take the youngster jobs. If you came to retire then is exactly that RETIRE and stop stealing our jobs. Stop living the large life if that is your concern maybe you won’t have to complain so much.

      Be happy that you decided to retire EARLY and stop the crying game I NEED MORE MONEY!!! Be real and spend practical.. If you can’t live off your retirement then don’t retire. Can’t have the cake and eat it toooooo…

  6. gatorfan1 says:

    palm coast has to be the most anti-business friendly city i have ever seen. with that policy it will always have high unemployment. with city commissioners and mayor knocking down 5 or 6 figure salaries,why should they even care?? people are not only working in st johns ansd volusia counties but starting to shop there as well and spending valuable tax dolllar$ that flagler county and palm coast could use. this is the bad karma for being so unfriendly and anti-business. what goes around comes around and palm coast is reaping the negative rewards. red light cameras, landscaped walking trails that nobody can even see, 8′ wide sidewalks/biking trails,ad nauseum,big fat salaries for city workers,brand new city trucks and fire trucks and the list goes on and on and on and on……………….

  7. Jobless in Flagler says:

    Unemployment continues to fall, yet the layoffs at Palm Coast Data continue. Another 20+ employees have been laid off in the past 2 weeks. The majority of the people who have been laid off are women over 40 or long time employees who make the most money. I know that one of the people affected by the recent layoffs was a single mother of three who had been there for over 12 years and depended on her job there to support her children when there were other people in her same position who did not do as good of a job as she did or have the experience she did. Why her? Because she made the most and had been there the longest? Completely heartless and unfair. And PCD has those laid off employees over a barrel because they have to sign a legal agreement after being laid off saying they won’t sue them in order to get their severance packages. People who work there live paycheck to paycheck and would sign just about anything to get that package because they need it so desperately. That company has failed to keep their promise to the city of Palm Coast to bring jobs to the area. It seems like instead of bringing 700 jobs to Flagler County, they have eliminated about that many, or will by the time they are done.

    • Betty Boop says:

      PCD is a sweat shop factory not a place of employment a real work place do not mistreat good workers.. The administration team are a bunch of uneducated crew fools. I can’t believe what they do to the employees and how they can get away with it because of that stupid form. It’s a form that can be fought if you have a good LAWYER!!!.

      The day will come when they bark up on the wrong tree and that person has the guts to SUE big time. I thought working from home as a private contractor it will be great thing for me, but what a JOKE that was so i just dropped them like a hot pancake!!!!!

      A bunch of fools who know nothing but nothing a buch of bullying nonsense. No work ethics in this place nor here in PC… I feel for the people who really need the job. Being unemployed myself i know what it is needing a job, but i’m no ones rug nor dog. I will never consider to work for PCD!!!!

      Good luck to the sane employees who need the job at PCD… Much success…

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