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Jobless numbers improve a little

Franklin County’s unemployment numbers dropped a tad in February, but remain higher than they were one year ago.

According to preliminary numbers released Friday by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in February was 3.7 percent, down by one-tenth of 1 percentage point from the January rate of 3.8 percent.

This drop in joblessness came as two people left the unemployment line, which now numbers 178.

The labor force in February rose by 50 workers, to 4,822. The workforce remains larger than one year ago, when it was at 4,725, the jobless rolls were smaller at 150, and the unemployment rate, at 3.2 percent, was better than it is today.

The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Gulf Coast region (Bay, Franklin, and Gulf counties) was 3.7 percent in February, 0.4 percentage points higher than the region's year-ago rate of 3.3 percent. The region's February unemployment rate was 1.3 percentage points lower than the state rate of 5.0 percent.

The labor force was 94,406, up 632 (+0.7) over the year. There were 3,492 unemployed residents in the region

The unemployment rate in the county was lower than Gulf County, which was at 3.9 percent, and tied with Bay County.

Compared to the state’s 66 other counties, Franklin was also tied with Jefferson, Manatee, Sarasota, and Suwanee counties, all at 3.7 percent.

Hardee and Washington were better at 3.6 percent, with Dixie and Monroe at 3.5. Bradford, Calhoun, Collier and Martin were at 3.4; Holmes, Okeechobee and Walton at 3.3; Alachua and Nassau at 3.2; Gilchrist, Glades, Liberty and Union at 3.1; Clay and Okaloosa at 3.0; Baker and Santa Rosa at 2.9; DeSoto, Lafayette and St. Johns at 2.8; and Wakulla, best in the state, at 2.6 percent.

Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in February, down 0.1 percentage point from the January 2021 rate, and up 1.4 percentage points from a year ago. There were 474,000 jobless Floridians out of a labor force of 10.1 million. The U.S. unemployment rate was 6.2 percent in February.

Florida’s seasonally adjusted total nonagricultural employment was 8.5 million in February 2021, an increase of 19,600 jobs (+0.2 percent) over the month. The state lost 560,000 jobs over the year, a decrease of 6.2 percent.

Nationally, the number of jobs also fell 6.2 percent over the year. February labor statistics reflect the continued effects of COVID-19 and the efforts to reopen businesses and services.

Florida lost 1.27 million jobs from February to April 2020 and has since gained back over half of the jobs lost (+709,200 jobs).  The number of jobs in Florida was 8.5 million in February 2021, down 560,000 jobs compared to a year ago.

All 10 major industries experienced negative over-the-year job growth in February. The industry losing the most jobs over the year was leisure and hospitality (-286,200 jobs, -22.4 percent).

Other industries losing jobs over the year included trade, transportation, and utilities (-59,600 jobs, -3.3 percent); education and health services (-58,600 jobs, -4.3 percent); total government (-51,500, -4.5 percent); professional and business services (-35,200 jobs, -2.5 percent); other services (-30,100 jobs, -8.5 percent); construction (-15,000 jobs, -2.6 percent); manufacturing (-10,600 jobs, -2.7 percent); information (-10,100 jobs, -7.3 percent); and financial activities (-4,200 jobs, -0.7 percent).

This article originally appeared on The Apalachicola Times: Jobless numbers improve a little

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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