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Flagler County’s Unemployment Rate Tumbles to 8.3% in Sharpest Single-Month Improvement of Recovery

| May 16, 2014

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

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

Flagler County’s unemployment rate fell a full percentage point in April, to 8.3 percent, the sharpest single-month improvement of the last five years’ recovery, as the number of unemployed people in the county dropped by 375 and the number of employed people climbed by 111. A drop of 264 in the labor force, however, also helped reduce the unemployment figure.

April’s drop solidified a year-long trend of improving prospects for Flagler and vindicated predictions by many local government and economic development officials that the county was poised for solid growth. Still, the drop was not enough to bump Flagler out of the top of the chart for highest unemployment in the state: Flagler, a decimal point behind Hendry County, remains in second place, just one decimal point higher than Hamilton County.

“We’re right on the cusp of a huge amount of employment here that’s going top pay really nice wages,” Barbara Revels, a county commissioner who chairs the county’s Economic Opportunity Advisory Council, said at the council’s last meeting. “We’re almost there, it’s just that the timing issue is not showing up yet.”

Over the course of the past 12 months, the number of people who live in Flagler and have jobs has increased by 950 (understanding that a significant portion of those jobs are in Volusia, St. Johns and other counties), while the labor force has increased by 430, and the number of unemployed people has decreased by 520. “Our unemployment has not gone up like it gets put in the press, it’s just that people arriving here looking for work have gone up,” Revels said.

Florida’s unemployment rate fell to 6.2 percent in April, where it had been stuck from December through February. The state created 34,000 jobs in April, one of the better month-over-month figures of the recovery. There were 599,000 Floridians out of work, with a labor force of 9.6 million. Florida’s labor force participation rate was 60.7 percent in April 2014, up 0.2 percentage point from the March 2014 participation rate of 60.5 percent. That sugegsts that more people are willing to either return to the work force or to move to the state and look for work.

“The state’s private sector has created more than 600,000 jobs for Florida families since December 2010, and we are another step toward making sure every Floridian who wants a job can get one,” Governor Rick Scott said today.

In Flagler for now, the majority of employment is driven by small businesses averaging three employees each, says Robin King, president and CEO of Career Source Flagler-Volusia. King presented her quarterly report to the Economic Opportunity Council earlier this month. The report provided a somewhat clearer picture of the labor landscape in the county than today’s state report provides. From January through March, some 1,288 people were actively looking for work, with 375 Flagler County residents who though counted as employed, were in fact underemployed, which means they were not working the number of hours they wanted or were unhappy with where they were. In all, 73 businesses posted 222 job in the first three months of the year. Manufacturing, construction, health, office and administration and food preparation were the industries looking for workers (in that order), with the average wage around $11 an hour. Over the last 12 months, there was an increase of 400 jobs in the county.

“We have people who are looking for employment that have degrees,” King said. “These are not just first-time job entrants, they’re not basic entry-level. I have over a hundred that have a bachelor’s master’s or doctorate, but more than half of these 1,288 that were looking for employment have some college or those degrees certifications, votech credentials kind of things. So we have talented people here.” About 24 percent of the labor force in Flagler works in Volusia County. Another segment works in St. Johns.

Beau Falgout, a senior planner who focuses on economic development for Palm Coast, told the council that the city is “focusing on a couple of things–maintaining our neighborhoods, helping our existing businesses grow, and attracting investment.” The city’s Business Assistance Center, he said, doesn’t serve businesses just in palm Coast, but any business anywhere in the county. The city estimates that the BAC has had an economic impact of $21 million in the last three years. That estimate is nowhere near mathematically precise: the state surveys businesses every year, asking about the effects of such things as the business center on its clients (the local BAC is replicated across the state).

Florida Unemployment Report April 2014

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17 Responses for “Flagler County’s Unemployment Rate Tumbles to 8.3% in Sharpest Single-Month Improvement of Recovery”

  1. gmath55 says:

    I am 59 with a B. S. degree in Mechanical Engineering and A. S. in Computer Software Engineering. What are my chances of getting a job in my field in Flagler County? ZERO

    • Ron says:

      I ask you this gmath55: Whatever would make you think that a retirement community like Palm Coast and a rural/agricultural county like Flagler would have a job related to Mechanical Engineering and Computer Software Engineering?

      It’s like going to Publix and complaining that they don’t sell cars!

      • really says:

        @Ron..Sorry, but if Palm Coast were just a retirement community then why do we even have schools here? There has to be a balance. Retirees need young people to provide services. The young people’s parents need good paying jobs. Balance.

        Palm Coast has done very little to attract decent businesses here to help build & sustain this community. Daytona State has an excellent IT program with a grant to develop a formidable IT security program as well. No other state college in Florida offers the programs in Computer Science that Daytona State has to offer and the price is so cheap.

        We should be attracting businesses based on this premise and offering scholarships to perspective students in exchange for tech businesses coming to the area. Let’s not allow this opportunity to go to waste!

      • gmath55 says:

        I did say ZERO! Ron.

    • Cypress Grand says:

      gmath55 – Just because you are 59 years old with a BS in Mechanical Engineering does not mean that you cannot get hired. First of all, I am a technical and engineering recruiter and your age has nothing to do with getting hired. If you have a resume that is up-to-date and apply for the right positions that your skills meet, you could easily get hired. Most candidates build resumes that are dated and apply for positions that cannot utilize their skills. If you go to and conduct a search – someone in St. Augustine is looking for a Senior Mechanical Engineer with design experience within the area. If you go to and type in “Mechanical Engineer” in Florida, there are 1,200+ open jobs. There are jobs everywhere. Do you have design experience in manufacturing and in what industry? If you send your resume to, I will be more than happy to help you assist with resume that will land you a job. I help a lot of people — for free!!! For others: there are many jobs within 5 miles of Palm Coast that need filled. I actually work for a specific company located in the Western US, but there are many jobs here — look!

    • Shark says:

      Because the only jobs are grass cutting food service and retail sales!!!!!

  2. They`ve just denied more people their unemployment benefits is all , only one hiring and they are done is our 4th McDonald`s the people that work there can`t even afford to eat there , they are on food stamps.

  3. karma says:

    PINK SLIP RICK!!!!!!!!!

  4. Florida Native. says:

    I hear the four McDonald’s and Publix are hiring at $7.50/hr. Woopee!!!!!! Grab that $300/wk and live in your parents basement and smoke weed.

    • Genie says:

      For those who had the incredible idea that $7.50 was ever intended to be a career, I invite you to go back to school, take a few courses and see if you can improve upon that. These are entry level jobs and that is all. Hardly enough to call it an improvement on our unemployment numbers here in Flagler. But since that is all we have, it likely won’t be long before the “basements” are full up. The weed is coming soon, courtesy of Morgan and Morgan and Charlie Christ.

      • really says:

        @Genie….I agree with you 100%, however, I think the real point is that there are no other jobs out there but entry-level jobs.

  5. marty says:

    Read the figures on the wages of jobs lost in this depression and the wages of jobs created during the “recovery” – it puts the lie to any claims that this “recovery” is anything of the sort….the middle class has been virtually dismantled – the .01% and the corporate CEOs doing better than ever and an increasing service sector of part-time low wage work is definitely NOT a recovery.

    We need less taxes on corporations, less regulation, lower taxes on upper incomes, and – oh wait- we’ve been doing that for at least 30 years….thanks, Republicans!

    • Ron says:

      “We need less taxes on corporations, less regulation, lower taxes on upper incomes, and – oh wait- we’ve been doing that for at least 30 years….thanks, Republicans!”

      That’s right, Marty. Good old “Trickle Down” economics at it’s finest!

      I’m pretty sure the vast majority of regular folks have grown weary of getting “trickled” upon.

  6. JoJo says:

    Those figures are misleading – misleading to get Slick Rick elected again. I want to trow up when I see his commercials on TV. He has bombarded the airwaves already. Wait until the weeks leading up to the election. We’ll all be sick of slick Rick. Those figures are misleading because the unemployed fell off being counted especially after Gov Scott reduced unemployment. It;s all an illusion to get reelected again. He is throwing people a bone to get reelected and if he wins watch out!

    • RobinUblind247 says:

      Slick Rick is gone, Id rather have the Devil himself, if slick Rick stays you can count on Jeb running and teaching him how to shred democratic votes

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