After Hurricane Ian, Unemployment Rate in Florida Rose to 2.7 Percent in October

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced at the end of last week that the unemployment rate in Florida rose in 2.5 percent in September to 2.7 percent in October.

“In the October 2022 economic data report, Florida’s labor force grew by 36,000 and Florida’s private sector added 35,000 jobs. This is the 30th consecutive month that Florida created jobs, while private sector job growth has exceeded the nation’s for the past 19 consecutive months,” the governor’s office announced. “Over the month, Florida’s labor force grew by 36,000, while the national labor force shrank, and Florida’s private sector employment growth was double the national growth rate. Florida’s private sector employment grew by 5.6 percent over the year in October 2022 (+447,800 jobs), faster than the national growth rate of 4.0 percent.”

The national unemployment rate stood at 3.7 percent in October.

The governor’s office pointed to Hurricane Ian as a reason why the unemployment rate went up in October.

“Florida’s unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percentage points to 2.7 percent, which is still historically low, and remains a full point below the nation’s 3.7 percent mark. Much of the increase in the unemployment rate is due to increased unemployment in Southwest Florida following Hurricane Ian. The unemployment rate in the Fort Myers area was 3.9 percent during the month, up 0.5 points. Still, this slight increase in unemployment in Florida shows that despite the impacts of a Category 4 storm, Floridians and Florida’s economy remain resilient. The Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and CareerSource Florida continue to provide resources to help Floridians find employment if they were impacted by the storm,” the governor’s office noted.

“Florida’s economic resiliency is unmatched in the country – no other state could withstand the direct impact of a Category 4 hurricane and continue to grow jobs in the same month,” said DeSantis. “We have made record investments in our infrastructure and workforce while building a record budget surplus and providing record tax reduction for Floridians.”

“More Floridians enter the workforce each month because they are confident in the opportunities available to them under Governor DeSantis’ consistent leadership,” said DEO Sec. Dane Eagle. “DEO is proud to support the Governor’s mission through workforce education and development opportunities that help Floridians realize their potential and support our state’s major industries.”

In the past month, the leisure and hospitality sector added 14,100 jobs, the education and health services sector and the trade, transportation, and utilities both added 8,200 jobs to the state.

Monroe County and Miami-Dade County both had the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 1.7 percent each in October followed by St. Johns County at 2.1 percent and Okaloosa County at 2.2 percent.

Hendry County had the highest unemployment rate in the state in October at 4.5 percent followed by Highlands County at 4.3 percent and Citrus County and Charlotte County, which both stood at 4.0 percent each.

Kevin Derby
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