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.
Job growth has averaged 158,000 a month this year, below the average monthly gain of 223,000 in 2018. August’s employment gain was helped by the federal government’s hiring of 25,000 temporary census workers in preparation for the 2020 census.
The Flagler-Palm Coast labor force grew by more than 200 people in July, to 48,631, while the number of people with jobs grew by about 250, to 46,701, a growth of more than 2,000 jobs compared to a year ago.
The June unemployment figures for Flagler and Florida suggest both the state and the county have bottomed out in a job market at the closest to full employment they may see in this economic cycle.
The unanimous vote capped a brief presentation followed by a nearly hour-long stream of public support and commissioners’ applause, though most elements of the package remain hidden, and, enthusiasm aside, many of the statements were speculative, exaggerated or inaccurate.
The report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office finds that a $15 minimum wage would increase the wages of millions of low wage workers, increase the average incomes of low and lower-middle-income families, reduce poverty, shift money from corporate profits to the wages of low-wage workers, and reduce inequality.
Wages again increased by 6 cents. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.2 percent, well exceeding the 1.6 percent rate of inflation, which means that the difference lifts the net standard of living.
The Flagler County school district showcased its 21 flagship programs at 10 schools, each designed to give students means to experience careers first-hand while completing academic requirements.