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Flagler Unemployment Ticks Up to 8.6% as Labor Force Surges By 2% And Jobs Increase

| June 20, 2014

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

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

Flagler’s unemployment rate in May ticked up slightly to 8.6 percent, from 8.3, but the increase was largely due to a large influx of workers into the labor force, which grew by 727 people over the month, or 2 percent, to 36,068. Flagler County residents with jobs increased by 550, a 1.7 percent improvement over the previous month, for a total of 32,952 people with jobs.

Unemployment in the county remains high relative to the rest of the state, with Flagler again ranking second only to Hendry County in unemployment rate. The number of people without jobs increased by 177, to 3,116, but that figure, too, is driven in large part by the renewed interest in people to rejoin the labor force–or to move to Flagler County. The slightly higher unemployment rate, in other words, masks more positive underlying trends.

Florida’s unemployment rate in May increased by a decimal point, to 6.3 percent, and now matches the national unemployment rate. Net jobs actually decreased by 17,900 in the state, in a labor force of 9.6 million people. Some 606,000 Floridians are out of work, and 7.76 million are employed, according to figures released by the state’s labor department Friday.

More positive monthly jobs announcement are usually preceded by advance notice on the governor’s Twitter feed or revealed at a special speaking engagement. Not today. The announcement was limited to the state’s official release at the labor department, which terms itself the Department of Economic Opportunity. The day’s numbers contrasted somewhat with a focus of the Scott administration on job creation–a focus he’s underscored in campaign commercials.

“Long-term trends demonstrate that Florida’s poised for success,” Scott said in a news release. “Private sector job trends have been on the rise for over three years, our unemployment rate has declined or remained steady for 43 of the last 45 months, and for the fifth month in a row our labor force has grown. Florida’s had an amazing turnaround, and we have to continue working everyday to create jobs for families.”
The News Service of Florida reports that U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the largest over-the-month decrease in employment — 17,900 jobs — occurred in Florida, which was followed by Arizona and Illinois. The largest over-the-month increases in employment occurred in Texas, Pennsylvania, and New York.

But Flagler County had a better month than Florida.

Career Source Flagler-Volusia released the following summary:

The unemployment rate in the FlaglerVolusia region was 6.3 percent in May 2014. The May 2014 rate was 1.4 percentage points lower than the region’s year-ago rate of 7.7 percent, while 0.2 percentage point above the May 2014 state rate of 6.1 percent. Out of a labor force of 292,299, there were 18,454 unemployed residents in the region.

Nonagricultural employment in the Palm Coast metro area–comprising all of Flagler County–was 20,900 in May. Total nonagricultural employment was up 300 jobs (+1.5 percent) over the year. Statewide, employment increased by 2.9 percent over the same time period.

The three industries that gained jobs over the year were leisure and hospitality (+300 jobs); trade, transportation, and utilities (+100 jobs); and mining, logging, and construction (+100 jobs). The industries losing jobs over the year were government and professional and business services (-100 jobs each). Education and health services, other services, information, financial activities, and manufacturing were unchanged over the year.

Employment growth in leisure and hospitality (+8.6 percent) was faster in the metro area than the state. The Palm Coast metro area had the second highest annual employment growth rate in leisure and hospitality of all of the metro areas in the state (+8.6 percent), suggesting that the county’s Tourist Development Council’s strategy of the last couple of years has been paying dividends.

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2 Responses for “Flagler Unemployment Ticks Up to 8.6% as Labor Force Surges By 2% And Jobs Increase”

  1. Rob says:

    This story has been here for one day and no comments?
    What are our ineffective politicians (county and city) doing to abate this chronic unemployment?
    It ticks up and down and in either case it is abysmal.
    This city / county is sandwiched between two prosperous counties yet it continues to languish, something is very wrong. It can only point to the type of people who are elected to lead. While different people are elected they appear to be cut from the same cloth.
    A person offered me a theory, that some town councilors want to maintain the demographics of the city so they discourage business growth that would upset the ratio of retired to younger working class families. It may sound farfetched; on the other hand you have;
    1. A city with an image of being anti business.
    2. Chronic high unemployment
    3. Town council meetings scheduled at a time when a typical wage earner could not attend, so younger people are discouraged from running for a council seat.
    4. A city more interested in building money losing recreation facilities than building a viable economy.
    5. Town council who continually focus on the next bright shiny object as opposed to mapping out a plan to grow business entities that pay solid living wages (Florida standards of living wage)

  2. Root Cause says:

    High unemployment is caused by the Red Light Cameras (RLC). People can’t afford to drive around and shop or look for work for fear of the RLCs. The only time when unemployment rates drop, is when unemployed people are fed up with the RLCs and move away.

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