On Monday, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced that the state unemployment rate hit a record low in January before coronavirus impacted the Sunshine State.
In January, the unemployment rate in Florida stood at 2.8 percent, dropping from the 2.9 percent rate in December. The national unemployment rate stood at 3.6 percent in January. Still, DEO was more concerned on Monday with showcasing efforts to boost the economy as it faces the threat of coronavirus.
“The state of Florida is working to maintain the business-friendly climate our state is known for. Florida is closely monitoring COVID-19 and the impacts it could have on businesses that make Florida their home. The state is working with federal and state partners to ensure the safety and well-being of all Floridians while ensuring businesses are supported. Yesterday, March 15 Governor DeSantis sent a letter to the federal Small Business Administration (SBA) requesting to make the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program available for Florida’s small businesses impacted by COVID-19,” DEO noted.
“While our partners across the state work intensely to stop the spread of COVID-19, our agency is assessing the resources Florida’s impacted communities and businesses may need,” said DEO Executive Director Ken Lawson on Monday.
In the past year, Florida has seen 164,500 new private-sector jobs including almost 35,000 in education and health services; almost 31,500 in professional and business services with 31,400 new jobs; 29,700 new jobs in leisure and hospitality with 29,700 new jobs; and almost 28,000 new jobs in trade, transportation and utilities.
Miami-Dade County had the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 1.5 percent, followed by Monroe County at 2.1 percent, St. Johns County at 2.7 percent and Okaloosa County at 2.8 percent. Hendry County had the highest unemployment rate in the state at 5.1 percent, followed by Citrus County at 4.9 percent, Hamilton County at 4.7 percent and Sumter County 4.6 percent.
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