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Unemployment Rises Again, to 8.8% in Florida And 12.7% in Flagler, Clouding Recovery

| August 17, 2012

click on the graph for larger view.

After falling steadily by 2.1 percentage points over the past year and holding steady at 8.6 percent in June, Florida’s unemployment rate ticked back up to 8.8 percent in July, and there was a net job loss of 3,300 in the state, reducing the year’s overall job creation to 69,900 over the past year.

Flagler County’s unemployment rate also rose from a revised 12.4 percent last month (it was originally 12.3 percent) to 12.7 percent. Flagler remains the county with the second-highest unemployment rate, after Hendry’s 16.1 percent. But by metropolitan areas, Palm Coast’s has the state’s highest unemployment. Hendry is a rural, poor county with less than half Flagler’s population, and with a median household income 22 percent lower than Flagler’s.

The number of people holding jobs in Flagler actually increased in July, by 134 people, but the number of people in the labor force increased by twice that number, as 284 people joined, or re0-joined, the workforce. Both figures should be encouraging: more people are finding work, drawing more people into the workforce. Alternately, Flagler County may once again be drawing more new working-age residents, though that’s less likely, because the labor force in July was almost identical to its level a year ago. But some 600 more people are employed today than they were a year ago. And according to the Cansus Bureau’s estimate for 2011, Flagler’s population has increased by at least 1,000 people.

There’s brighter news in the help-wanted ad world, too. According to the Help Wanted OnLine data series from The Conference Board, Florida job postings in July 2012 led the nation in over-the-month growth in job demand with more than 264,000 openings, and increased by almost 30,000 openings compared to July 2011. Major occupational groups with the most online ads in July were sales and related occupations; healthcare practitioners and technical occupations; office and administrative support occupations; and computer and mathematical occupations.

But the quality of jobs in Florida remains among the lowest in the nation: wages and benefits are low, and living wages few relative to job creation elsewhere, which means the rate of people’s reliance on public assistance, from food stamps to health care, and the proportion of people without health insurance, remain among the highest in the nation.

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday looked at the best side of the latest numbers. “While the unemployment rate can vary from month to month, Florida continues to see positive private sector job growth,” he said. “My goal remains the same, to make Florida the number one business destination in the world by improving the state’s economic climate, highlighting our talented and skilled workforce and getting Floridians back to work.”

The numbers are bad news for President Obama, however, who has been counting on the recovery in Florida to help him carry the state in November. That recovery had already helped push his approval ratings ahead of Mitt Romney’s in the state. But worsening economic news would make it difficult for the Obama campaign to sustain the momentum. On the other hand, Scott–an open and bitter critic of the Obama administration–has been helping the Obama campaign by talking up economic successes, and promising to do so in his speaking role at the National Republican Convention in Tampa later this month, even though the message is at odds with that of the Romney campaign.

Most job sectors saw declines or flat numbers in Florida in July, but the declines were modest. Not a single job sector saw a decline of more than 1 percent. Sectors losing jobs included government (3,600), tourism (1,200), financial activities (4,100), wholesale trade (3,100) and manufacturing (1,200). Retail trade grew (1,500 jobs), as did information (1,500), administrative and waste services (7,500 jobs), health care and social assistance (3,600 jobs), and arts and recreation (1,700).

The full unemployment report is below.

Florida July 2012 unemployment report

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14 Responses for “Unemployment Rises Again, to 8.8% in Florida And 12.7% in Flagler, Clouding Recovery”

  1. question says:

    Mini-heart attack when I saw Unemployment Rises Again, to 8.8%…

    then I saw …. in Florida. shewwww!

  2. Yellowstone says:

    I believe your readers now realize that one single, individual can’t claim (or take blame) either an upturn or downturn in the ecomonics and employment situation, It took the combined efforts of our 535+ elected federal officials (we paid them to do this) to get us into this dilemma. A party that is hell bent on voting “NO!!” on any progressive job creation program.

    After laying off 212 employees – then the best 67 we had – I turned to HR and asked them, “So who is going to pay for the roads, bridges, schools, and the 285 channels of TV?”.

    HR’s answer with a shrug, “I guess we will become a ‘service oriented business’. Ten years later, I am still wondering what that is . . . Ten years later, the billion dollar company went back to Europe.

    What’s next? Taking healthcare away entirely? Only providing healtcare to those that have jobs – or to tose that can afford it? (If you live in the woods – you can’t have it!)

    That all started 12 years ago. Most of my employees were degreed engineers. All had families (dependents like spouses, kids, and parents). There are 20 million of them roaming the streets today – some have lost all of that – including the roof over their head! Some living with their kids in the woods behind Wamart. Sleeping in their cars. Don’t believe me – go ask your school administrators.

    But someone is profiting from this. Who do think it is? The guy next door? Does he live in our side of Palm Coast? Does he send his kids to the same school you do? Does he buy coffee at McD’s? Is he the one driving that shiney new Toyota Corolla?

    Wake up!! Your vote counts. You voted this group of 535+ naysayers into office to do your bidding. You asked for it! You got it!

    Not voting will result in a repeat of history. Yes, history does repeat itself.

    GO VOTE!! We are all watching you . . .

    Folks: Wake up! Remember your vote is what matters.

    • Liana G says:

      Yellowstone, sadly our school administrators are going to say ‘no comment’ citing privacy issues. In reality, their acknowledgement that such extreme poverty exists would again bring up the issue of their top heavy salaries in such a poor district.

      One just has to look at the re-elected school board officials – the two longest sitting board members who, by the way, are very much involved in establishing these cushy salaries for the district and themselves – and the voting records which are public information, to see those who voted and how they voted. The more taxes the poor man has to pay, the less he has to spend. This not bode well for economic recovery in a consumer economy.

  3. Lonewolf says:

    I’m betting Rick Scott will blame this on Obama. And when it goes back down again, he’ll take credit

  4. Gia says:


  5. Jim R says:

    Yellowstone—– Vote for who?
    Lonewolf—— What makes you think unemployment will go down?

  6. Karma says:

    It’s not just Florida, 43 other states unemployment rates have increased. FORWARD

  7. Liana G says:

    It’s not just FL folks!

    “Unemployment rates up in 44 US states in July, including 9 presidential battlegrounds.”

    Article by: CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER , Associated Press. Updated: August 17, 2012

  8. Clint says:

    Don’t worry, that new Senior assisted living complex that was OK’ed by our “bloodsucking” county vampires will need to hire a few folks. That will increase our unemployment percentage back down to 8.4.
    Gas rising again, unemployment skyrocketing, national debt over 16 trillion dollars, government leeches draining all hope from the “use to be” middle class society….Could another Civil War be possible in America ? Between the Rich and Poor, the Haves and the Have Nots ! Well, when Americans decide enough is enough, a Civil War just might be in the making .

  9. Ben Blakely says:

    Unemployment way back up? Businesses suffering? Federal debt out of control and growing?

    Say “Thank you obama!”

    Say “Thank you Democrats!”

  10. Ben Blakely says:

    Barry obama: More spending than ALL other previous presidents COMBINED.

    Barry obama: 3 1/2 years and he still has NO BUDGET.

    Barry obama: Took 3/4 TRILLION dollars out of Medicare to use as a band aid for his obama care program.

    Barry obama: Has spent hundreds of billions on poverty but in his term, poverty in America has ballooned to greater poverty since the Great Depression.

    Barry obama: Has dedicated his administration to increase the number of Americans on welfare and food stamps. Over 52% of Americans now on the Federal dole and hand out.

    Barry obama: Dedicated toward weakening the U.S. and making our military impotent. obama wants the the U.S. to be (his words) ‘just another nation at the table.” Obama despises American greatness.

    Barry obama: WORST and most inept U.S. president record in history.

  11. Dorothea says:

    Amazing that so many of FlaglerLive’s commenters seem downright gleeful that they and/or their neighbors don’t have jobs. As long as the Republicans keep touting supply-side, voodoo economics, that has already failed to produce jobs three times under past Republican presidents, and continue to vote against job bills that generate employment, nothing good will come to the 99% of us. It would seem that the Republicans would rather have a bad economy in order to win elections and don’t give a damn about what happens to the country’s economy.

  12. johninc says:

    What was Rick Scott’s campaign slogan again? Oh right: Let’s Get To Work.

  13. Ben Blakely says:

    obama and the socialist democrats really have a plan… continue spending and taxing your money till you are broke! Want another 4 years of feckless hopeless failure and endless deception and obama lies?

    Enjoying watching obama spend the country into oblivian with over $16 Trillion dollars in debt and growing as obama spends like the mad socialist he is.

    In November, you have your ONLY opportunity to eliminate the clueless and helpless obama and the democrats from congress
    You can protect you and your family’s future by voting obama OUT and voting Republicans and Romney in!

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