Florida Unemployment Rate Drops

The number of jobless residents continued to spiral downwards as the unemployment rates in Florida dropped all the way to 4.8% in the month of January alone, as showed by statistics released by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO).

These figures can be described as a gradual downward trend from the all-time high unemployment rates around the spring of 2020. Interpreting the numbers, there are approximately 480,000 unemployed people in Florida from a workforce containing almost 10 million workers, according to the Department of Labor. Unfortunately, this unemployment rate would take the title of the lowest amongst the big states in the U.S.

Taking into account the entire nation, employment rates averaged around a high 6.4%. To compare this drastic decrease, Florida only had 3.4% during the month of January while it reached 5.1% in December. Despite this unfortunate trend which caused over a million jobs lost because of the pandemic, the state is slowly recovering as they have reinstated more than half of those jobs. Industries like roofing, solar, and home repair have seen increased interest in many jurisdictions.

During the months of April of 2020 to January alone, the states were able to acquire about 714,900 private sector jobs with the inclusion of an additional 1,700 new ones this January of 2021. That being said, Florida has still quite a way to go before it obtains half a million jobs as compared to the start of 2020. 

Statistics also demonstrate that majority of the jobs that were lost over the past year were in the hospitality category, having its labor force drastically decrease by 22% due to Covid-19. Counties such as Monroe had some of Florida’s lowest unemployment rates clocking at 3.5%.

The authorities over at the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity continue to express their plentiful hopes that the state’s unemployment rates start to stabilize in an attempt to flatten the curve.  For this exact, reason the state has continued to open its doors for business in order to provide its people more job opportunities during the pandemic. 

Florida’s general labor force decline even before the pandemic demonstrates that the people have given up attempts to get a job and leaving even leaving the labor scene as a whole. Needless to say, the labor force is changing more than ever, with the hundreds of thousands leaving and becoming unemployed.

Due to the multiple health concerns that the pandemic brought, children have also been forced to learn at the comfort of their homes, affecting a significant portion of workers in the female demographic nationwide. Bringing early retirement or switching of fields in the table shows no exaggeration that the number of workers available will continue to reduce.

Even with the additional new workers that joined the workforce this January, it would take almost a year and a half for the state to gain its pre-pandemic employment rates. According to a research group for Oxford Economics, the labor force is fortunately predicted to recover from its historic highs in the next couple of years. Still, it will not be able to reach numbers prior to the pandemic. 

Stephen W.

Stephen began his illustrious journalism career at Orlando High School.  After writing for publications throughout the U.S. and Western Europe he has returned to Orlando.  He covers sports, local news, and health for the Florida Bugle.

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