Florida Unemployment Ticks Up in July


The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) released statewide unemployment data on Friday, showing a slight increase in the unemployment rate from June to July.

As stated in the DEO release, Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.1 percent in July 2021, up 0.1% from the June 2021 rate, and down from 6.4% one year ago.

At this time last year, businesses that had either scaled back or shut down in the wake of the pandemic were just starting to benefit from Governor DeSantis’ efforts to re-open the state.

“When you look at June and July (this year), we actually saw a higher uptick of people joining the labor force. So, that’s probably an indication of positive impacts there,” DEO Chief Economist Adrienne Johnston said in a conference call. “Things are continuing to increase. We are continuing to see people move back into the labor force. They are encouraged to find work, and it just takes a little bit of time for those connections to be made.”

According to the data, in July 2021, Florida’s seasonally adjusted total of nonagricultural jobs or employment was 8,756,300, up 68,100 jobs from June.

Compared to July 2020, the number of jobs in July 2021 is higher by 11.3%. Over the year, the total number of jobs the state gained was 356,700, up 4.2% from July 2020. Nationally, the year-to-year total number of jobs in the month of July increased by 5.2%.

Overall positive job growth in Florida comes as a result of nine of the ten major industries experiencing positive year-to-year job growth in July. The nine industries are listed below from highest to lowest increase:

“Leisure and hospitality (+137,800 jobs, +14.6%); professional and business services (+63,200 jobs, +4.7%); trade, transportation, and utilities (+58,000 jobs, +3.3%); education and health services (+41,100 jobs, +3.2%); other services (+30,900 jobs, +9.9%); financial activities (+22,000 jobs, +3.7%); construction (+12,400 jobs, +2.2 percent); manufacturing (+9,600 jobs, +2.6%); and information (+6,700 jobs, +5.3%).”

The only major industry that did not experience positive job growth was total government, which recorded a decrease of 23,200 jobs or -2.5%.

Additionally, the data highlights the four counties with the lowest unemployment rates in Florida – as well as the seven counties that share the three highest unemployment rates.

The four lowest unemployment rates were 3.1%, 3.6%, 3.9%, and 4.0%, belonging to Monroe, St. Johns, Okaloosa, and Nassau Counties, respectively. The highest unemployment rate was 7.6% and belonged to Hendry County. The next highest was 6.8% and was shared with Highlands County, Putnam County, and Hardee County. The third highest was 6.5%, shared with Miami-Dade County, Citrus County, and Sumter County.

The national unemployment rate for July 2021 was 5.7%.

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Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected]








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