In Flagler unemployment went up to 6.6 percent, from 6.2 percent the month before, despite a net gain of 220 people holding jobs. Again, the reason the unemployment rate went up is because of the growing workforce.
Flagler’s 6.9 percent unemployment rate sent the county down to 14th place among counties with the worst unemployment, ending years of Flagler sitting at or near the top of that chart.
Flagler County’s unemployment rate continued to improve in November, falling to 8.2 percent, the fourth successive monthly improvement and the lowest rate since the Great Recession as Florida’s rate, too, fell in November, matching the national rate of 5.8 percent.
In Flagler County, the unemployment rate went up to 9.5 percent, the number of people with jobs fell by 207, and the labor force, an indicator of local economic vitality, fell by 186 after rising in previous months.
Despite traditional unemployment figures, the jobs situation in Flagler County is vastly improved, and continues to improve, with a 38 percent drop in people without jobs since four years ago and a labor force stronger by 3,000.
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.
Job seekers filled the parking lot and stood in a line that spilled out into the hallway of the Flagler County Emergency Operations Center Thursday as company representatives were busy at tables speaking with potential employees and accepting resumes.
There were 92 fewer jobs in the county over the month, and 82 fewer unemployed people. But the labor force lost 174 people over the month, continuing a worrisome trend that has persisted for more than a year.
Flagler’s lower unemployment rate is not being driven by an increase in the number of people with jobs, but by a significant decrease in the labor force, which has shrunk 4 percent over the year. The number of Flagler residents holding jobs declined by 343 between September and October, and by 821 people over the year.
The national economy, Florida’s and Flagler County’s might as well be the three twins of lethargy: all three economies are mirroring each other in fitful but anemic activity, adding some but mostly low-paying jobs as Florida’s unemployment rate remains at 7.1 percent for the third straight month and Flagler’s continues in the low double digits, at 10.3 percent.