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Flagler’s Unemployment Ticks Down to New Post-Recession Low of 5.3% as Employment Surges

| April 15, 2016

march unemployment 2016 florida

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Flagler County’s unemployment rate declined only by two decimal points in March, to 5.3 percent, but it was another symbolically significant decline as the rate scraped a new low since the Great Recession, while employment continued to swell impressively for the second consecutive month.

In February Flagler County saw jobs grow by 472. In March, strong job growth continued with a gain of 396 for a two-month gain of 868 jobs. (Jobs had declined in December and January.) The total number of Flagler residents holding jobs rose to a record 41,964, a 52 percent increase of 14,312 since March 2010. Keep in mind: these are not necessarily jobs in Flagler County, but jobs held by Flagler County residents anywhere in the state. And they are not necessarily full-time jobs. A worker needs only register one hour in a two-week period to be considered employed for that month’s job report. But all things being equal, the trend continues to be favorable.

The county’s labor force also grew robustly in March, to 44,330, an increase of 346 over the previous month and of 883, or 2 percent, over the year. A growing workforce means that, in addition to the natural growth of the labor force, workers are encouraged to rejoin the workplace after remaining sidelined, or workers are moving into Flagler County, encouraged by job prospects in the region. A growth in the workforce also means that the population is increasing with working-age families, and likely with children, rather than with retirees, as had largely been the case since the end of the recession: school enrollment has been static since.

The number of unemployed in Flagler County declined from 2,416 to 2,366. For all that, Flagler County is still not yet out of the tier of Florida counties with the worst unemployment. It’s 14th from the worst (Hendry County has held that unhappy spot for years, since Flagler relinquished it), flanked by Indian River and Dixie counties, with St. Johns County second from best at 3.5 percent unemployment, and Monroe in the most favorable spot at 3.1 percent.

In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott could yet again claim that the unemployment rate was falling, though as in each of the past several months, it did so only to the extent that the previous month’s rate had been revised upward, thus creating the illusion that the latest month’s rate had fallen by a decimal point. In reality, the state unemployment rate was stuck at 5.1 percent for three successive months before falling to 5 percent in February and 4.9 percent in March, with 478,000 unemployed Floridians out of a labor force of 9.8 million. Aside from exceeding it significantly during the recession, Florida’s unemployment rate has kept largely in line with the national rate since.

In March, the state added just 3,000 jobs, with no single industry showing either large gains or losses except in hotels and restaurants, which lost 5,900 jobs and private service providing jobs adding 4,200.

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5 Responses for “Flagler’s Unemployment Ticks Down to New Post-Recession Low of 5.3% as Employment Surges”

  1. Ken Dodge says:

    Part-time and minimum wage employment surges at Island Walk Center as eateries and retailers struggle to meet the demand for employment applications.

  2. Jim says:

    Oh wow unemployment has gone down. The problem is the only jobs you can get in Flagler county is 8-12hr. The cities and counties need to develop jobs for the middle class. Palm coast is full of divorced mothers who are living with their retired parents house and middle age men who are living near mommy and daddy to “get ahead”. Problem is there isn’t any worthy careers to get ahead. Work on bringing real business in not Carrabas and chick filas

  3. Knightwatch says:

    Yep … can’t be any good news here. Donald “P.T. Barnum” Trump says our country’s in the dump and getting worse. Unemployment is at least 40% if you count children, divorced women and middle aged men.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This information is so bogus! There are lots of people out of work not eligible to collect unemployment so they are not figured into these figures. Look at the crime in this county…when crime goes up, people are out of work. How about reporting how many people are on food stamps, public assistance, free lunch in the public schools, and have had their water in Palm Coast turned off which would would surely prove this roses picture wrong! While you are at it, report how much our local government paid in unemployment costs in the past 24 months. The Sheriff alone has cost us tax payers a fortune!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Silver Lining Alert: Statistics show improved outlook for statisticians.

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