The number of unemployed fell from 6,100 in May to 4,371 in June in Flagler, pointing to a substantial rebound, though the surge in Covid-19 cases statewide and in Flagler since the June 5 Phase 2 reopening is casting doubt on the extent of the recovery.
In April, the number of jobless Flagler County residents was at 6,795, a number never seen in Flagler’s or Palm Coast’s history. The figure is an undercount: many more have filed for unemployment since, according to weekly initial claims.
The April figures are an undercount, as they represent only a partial survey of actual job losses in April. Those losses are closer to 30 million or more, according to the cumulative total of first-time unemployment claims filed over the past few weeks.
More than one in 10 new jobless claims–505,137 first-time applications of the 4.4 million new claims–across the United States last week were made to Florida’s overwhelmed unemployment system.
In Florida, the last four weeks of claims totals 652,000 which, combined with 291,000 unemployed Floridians before the crisis–a five-decade low–approaches 1 million unemployed, placing the state’s current unemployment rate at around 9 percent and doubling Flagler’s unemployment rolls, past 4,000.
Initial unemployment claims totaled 6.6 million for the week ending April 4 across the nation, and 169,885 in Florida. In the last three weeks, initial claims have totaled 16.8 million in a labor force of 163 million. That equates to an unemployment rate of 10.3 percent, a rate never reached during the Great Recession.
The longest economic expansion on record, a 113-month streak that netted 22 million jobs between October 2010 and February 2020, is over. The economy shed 701,000 jobs in March and the number of unemployed persons grew by 1.4 million.
Since Flagler County government created the $450,000-a-year economic development department, the county has added 10,000 jobs, but only a few dozen as a result of the department’s involvement.
The collapse of a deal between a furniture-assembling company and Flagler County government is the latest setback for an economic development department with a checkered eight-year history and signal failures.
The national economy added 136,000 jobs in September, and figures for July and August were revised upward by 45,000 jobs, sending the unemployment rate to 3.5 percent, matching a level last seen in December 1969.