Florida Unemployment Rate Hits 11.9%: Tampa Bay Counties Hard Hit
Unemployment in Florida reached 11.9% in January—the state's highest unemployment rate in almost 35 years.
The last time Florida’s jobless rate was that high was in May 1975. With an estimated population of 18,537,969, the Sunshine State has over 2 million residents out of work.
The jobless increase is attributed to a statewide housing crisis and many businesses regressing to simpler operations that prompted job cuts. Governor Charlie Crist promised to reverse the startling rate and increase jobs for Floridians.
We’re focused upon work, jobs, tasks. And we’ll never stop,” said Crist, who is running for the U.S. Senate.
Last January, unemployment in Florida was at 8.7%. The jobless rate increased 0.2% from December. The United States overall unemployment rate is 9.7%
Florida’s Construction Industry Down 20%
Since last year, the construction industry has lost 90,700 jobs—more than one-fifth of the workforce. That decrease of 20.4% proves it is the most affected work sector.
In January, 7,144,300 workers made up Florida’s non-agricultural employment. The industry had a month-to-month loss of 6,100 jobs and a year-to-year loss of 303,200 jobs.
The only two industry’s to see job gains in the last year are private education and health services, which increased by 19,500 jobs and 4,100 jobs, respectively.
Tampa Bay Unemployment Rate 12-15%
Tampa Bay’s seven counties all had unemployment rates above the state average:
- Hernando County, 15.7%
- Pasco County, 14.3%
- Sarasota County, 13.4%
- Polk County, 13.3%
- Manatee County, 13.2%
- Hillsborough County, 12.7%
- Pinellas County, 12.7%
The highest county unemployment rate of went to Flagler County with 17.1%. The lowest rate went to Liberty County with 7.5%. Florida’s unemployment data for February will be released March 26.
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Tampa, Florida, United States