The national economy added just 49,000 jobs in January after losing a revised 227,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department reported today, underscoring the severe effects of the winter pandemic spike on Americans’ willingness to shop, eat in restaurants or travel large distances.
Jobs & Unemployment
Senate Judiciary Chairman Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, said his proposal to amend the state Constitution to allow the Legislature to exempt convicted felons and people under 21 from the new minimum-wage requirements would help them get jobs in the future.
Capping a whirling six months of major economic-development victories for Palm Coast, and two and a half years after the Sea Ray plant shut down off Colbert Lane, eliminating some 440 high-paying jobs, the plant will reopen very soon under the banner of Boston Whaler, a boat builder owned by Sea Ray’s parent, Brunswick Corp.
Businesses will remain open for the economic well-being of the state even as covid-19 cases continue to surge in Florida, the head of a Senate select committee on the pandemic said this week.
Flagler County’s and Florida’s December unemployment figure reflect continued struggles in an economy dominated by a hospitality industry, including bars and restaurants, that lost yet more jobs as the pandemic ramped up in the state.
After seven months of gains that had recovered more than half the jobs lost in spring, the national economy lost 140,000 jobs in December as the coronavirus pandemic worsened and efforts to contain it failed, with a president largely absent from governance and leadership since before the election.
Questions remained Wednesday about when extended unemployment benefits from a newly signed federal stimulus package will be available for Floridians out of work because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Covid-19 relief bill will help, but much more needs to be done to combat the pandemic and make the country stronger in the face of future crises.
Flagler County’s unemployment rate in November rose slightly to 5.9 percent, from a revised 5.5 percent in October, as Florida’s rate remained unchanged at 6.4 percent, signaling a deepening stall of economic activity since summer’s end as the coronavirus continues to take a human and economic toll in the state: seasonal hiring has not materialized as it has in less diseased years.
While the Palm Coast City Council’s majority supported the subsidy with enthusiasm, Council members Ed Danko and Victor Barbosa opposed awarding some or all of the money to the University of Jacksonville for different reasons, a split that did not exist when the council welcomed the University of North Florida with a $1.5 million subsidy.