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Ron DeSantis: Unemployment Rate Drops in Florida Despite Hurricane Ian, National Trends

At the end of last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that the unemployment rate stood at 2.5 percent in Florida during September, the lowest it has been since October 2006 and the second-lowest rate in the Sunshine State’s history.

In August, Florida‘s unemployment rate was 2.7 percent.

“Florida also had the second fastest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the nation, growing at an annual rate of 1.6 percent in the second quarter of 2022 while the national GDP has declined for two consecutive quarters,” the governor’s office noted.”The September 2022 data demonstrates that Florida’s economy has remained strong. Florida’s private sector employment increased by 47,500 jobs over the month in September 2022, an increase of 0.6 percent and 0.4 percentage points faster than the national growth rate of 0.2 percent. Florida’s labor force grew by 3.0 percent over the year in September 2022, a full percentage point faster than the national labor force growth rate of 2.0 percent. Over the month, Florida’s labor force increased by 8,000 in September 2022 while the national labor force shrank.”

The national unemployment rate stood at 3.5 percent in September.

DeSantis weighed in on the numbers on Friday.

“Florida’s economy continues to outpace the national average- Floridians are finding jobs, and our state’s businesses are thriving. As we continue to support Southwest Florida communities in their recovery from Hurricane Ian, a resilient economy is paramount,” said DeSantis. “With inflation still surging due to federal policies and with Southwest Florida recovering from Hurricane Ian, Florida has maintained sound fiscal and economic policies that will help us mitigate these challenges.”

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“Leadership matters – Florida’s economy is strong, resilient, and positioned for continued success because of Governor DeSantis’ decisive leadership,” said Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Secretary Dane Eagle. “Florida didn’t get lucky. Instead of locking people down during the pandemic, Governor DeSantis lifted people up, and we are seeing the impacts of this direction nationally. Now in Southwest Florida after Hurricane Ian, the unprecedented and dedicated response to recovery spearheaded by the governor and First Lady sends a strong message to the region that Florida has your back, and we will rebuild stronger than before.”

Over the past year, Florida has added 461,500 new jobs–a 5.8 percent growth rate–ahead of the national average of 4.4 percent. The leisure and hospitality industry added 106,800 jobs in Florida over the past year, while the trade, transportation, and utilities sector added 94,000 jobs while education and health services saw 71,100 new jobs,.

Monroe County had the lowest unemployment rate in September at 1.6 percent, followed by Miami-Dade County at 2.0 percent, St. Johns County at 2.1 percent and Okaloosa County and Wakulla County which both saw 2.2 percent each. Hendry County had the highest unemployment rate in the state at 4.8 percent followed by Highlands County at 4.1 percent, Citrus County at 4.0 percent and Sumter County at 3.9 percent.


  • Kevin Derby

    Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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