Flagler County’s unemployment rate in December fell to a 12-month low of 3.8 percent, matching the rate in December 2020. Flagler has now made up the jobs lost during the pandemic, and exceeded the pre-pandemic level, even though for all of 2021, unemployment in the county averaged 4.9 percent.
Jobs & Unemployment
After Florida and other states fought the plans, the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday blocked a Covid-19 vaccination mandate for large employers while clearing the way for a requirement that health-care workers get shots to try to curb the virus.
The so-called Great Resignation was one of the top stories of 2021 as “record” numbers of workers reportedly quit their jobs. The problem is the data only goes back a little over two decades, which means it’s certainly possible that the rate could have been higher at several points in the past.
If unchanged, the estimate would be the fewest number of claims for a single week since another holiday-shortened week in late December 2019 and would put the average of new claims over the past four weeks at 5,347.
Sunday’s decision, however, did not mean the Biden administration can move forward with the health-care worker vaccination requirement Monday, as originally planned. That is because a Louisiana federal judge last week issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against the Biden administration rule.
Flagler County’s unemployment rate stayed flat at 4.4 percent in October, with the county’s workforce growing by a few hundred people, the number of people employed growing by some 245 people and the number of unemployed growing by two dozen.
The U.S. labor market is expected to become far more diverse going forward in terms of gender, ethnicity and age. Thus, employers that cannot provide greater flexibility and variety in their working environment will struggle to attract and retain workers.
In 2021, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a worker needs to earn $20.40 per hour to be able to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment anywhere in the country. That’s an annual salary of $40,800 – more than twice what Brookings refers to as the median wage for low-wage work.
Members of the Flagler Educational Support Professional Association, the union that represents Flagler schools’ 800-some service employees, are voting today on what may amount to the largest pay increase in nearly 20 years, though bus drivers and paraprofessionals will see larger increases than all others.
Democrats expressed opposition Tuesday to a special session ordered by Gov. Ron DeSantis to push back against requirements that workers be vaccinated against Covid-19.