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Florida’s 4.9% Unemployment Rate Matches Nation’s, Flagler’s Nearly There, at 5.4%

| March 25, 2016

flagler florida unemployment february 2016

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

If economists alone were speaking, Flagler County could be said to be nearing full employment: about 10 years after the first rumbles of the Great Recession, the county’s unemployment rate in February fell to 5.4 percent, a level not seen since before the recession, and a level nearing what is generally recognized as full employment–when the number of jobs available roughly matches the number of job seekers, as zero unemployment is not considered realistic.

And in contrast with many previous monthly improvements in the unemployment rate, Flagler’s rate fell significantly despite a substantial increase in the labor force: The labor force grew by 270, but the number of Flagler County residents holding jobs surged by 472, one of the best single-month increases since the recession. That pushed the number of people without jobs down by 200 (to 2,390), keeping in mind that those are not necessarily full-time jobs: an employed person is defined as someone who’s worked as little as one hour in the previous month. But the net result is clear: employment is brisk.

Statewide, the revised unemployment rate had been stuck at 5.1 percent for three successive months until it fell two decimal points in February (though in the state’s press releases, each of the past four months represented a drop in the unemployment rate. The state achieves that magic by going on the preliminary rate first, the revising it month after month.) The state added a net 5,900 jobs in February, leaving 484,000 Floridians unemployed. Private-sector job growth, however, was tepid, at just 2,800–less than the 3,100 new jobs in federal, state and local government.

So there were no stand-out increases or decreases in any single sector of employment except for education services, which increased employment by 1.7 percent with 2,700 new jobs. Real estate employment increased by 1 percent, adding 1,900 jobs,
transportation, warehousing and utilities increased by 1.1 percent, or 3,100 jobs, and state government increased by 1 percent, with 2,000 new jobs. The largest proportional drops in employment were in arts, entertainment and recreason, which saw a 1.3 percent drop, or 2,900 jobs, and in non-durable goods, a 0.8 percent drop that represented 900 jobs.

The full report is below.

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5 Responses for “Florida’s 4.9% Unemployment Rate Matches Nation’s, Flagler’s Nearly There, at 5.4%”

  1. gmath55 says:

    But in Flagler county I see different people working every month at 7-11 and Kangaroo’s. Seems to be a high turn over rate.

  2. Knightwatch says:

    Can’t be right. Just listen to any Republican … our economy is in the dumps, the country (and county) is disintegrating and hell is coming. Must be that the data is false or all those new jobs are at McDonalds.

  3. Layla says:

    How many FULL TIME jobs are being filled? Anybody know? There is high turnover in PC and every time somebody quits, the new hire raises the statistics, falsely.

  4. Knightwatch says:

    Layla, “turnover” as such doesn’t affect unemployment statistics. Unemployment statistics include those who are in the job market and don’t have jobs. Turnover – one leaves employment and one enters – is a tradeoff. No change in unemployment statistics. By any measure, our economy has recovered from the Great Recession. Wages are lagging, but they’re coming up as unemployment reduces and companies have to bid up wages to find workers. Simple Economics 101.

  5. Wayne Perry says:

    As was stated in the article, someone working even one hour does not qualify as “unemployed”. The real story in Flagler is underemployment. With so many service industry jobs the ability to support a family off of a single income is nearly impossible in this community. There are few blue collar jobs and like the saying goes “unless you come to Flagler with money you can’t afford to live in Flagler”. Upon returning to Flagler from 6 years of serving our nation and being left without transportation I find that is the greatest hurdle I face in finding a job to help me begin again. Flagler needs public transportation as much as they need jobs that pay more than minimum wage.

    The all telling story of Flagler is that over 50% of the children in our schools qualify for free and reduced meals. That is a lot of children living in a life not as well as the brochures make Flagler sound.

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