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Labor force grows, jobless rate rises

Franklin County’s unemployment picture dimmed in June, as the size of the labor force grew

According to preliminary numbers released Friday by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in June was at 4.5 percent, eight-tenths of 1 percentage point higher than the May rate of 3.7 percent.

This snapshot of joblessness came as 46 people joined the unemployment line, which now numbers 234.

The labor force in June grew by 134 workers, to 5,160. The workforce remains much larger than one year ago, when it was at 4,731.

The unemployment is significantly better than what it was one year ago, in the midst of the raging coronavirus pandemic, when 321 people were on the jobless rolls and the unemployment was at 6.8 percent.

The unemployment rate in Franklin County was a tad better than Gulf, which was at 4.6 percent, and much better than Bay County, which was at 4.9 percent.

Compared to Florida’s 66 other counties, Franklin tied for fifth best, with Martin, Nassau and Santa Rosa; behind Wakulla at 4.4; Okaloosa at 4.3; St. Johns at 4.0; and Monroe, best in the state, at 3.5 percent.

Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.0 percent in June, up one-tenth of 1 percentage point from the May rate, and down 6.6 percentage points from a year ago. There were 523,000 jobless Floridians out of a labor force of about 10.4 million. The U.S. unemployment rate was 5.9 percent in June.

Florida’s seasonally adjusted total nonagricultural employment was about 8.7 million in June, an increase of 81,300 jobs (+0.9 percent) over the month. The state gained 358,300 jobs over the year, an increase of 4.3 percent. Nationally, the number of jobs rose 5.7 percent over the year.

The June 2021 labor force statistics and the total nonagricultural employment have not reached the pre-pandemic levels in February 2020.

Florida lost about 1.27 million jobs from February to April 2020, and has since gained back over half of the jobs lost (+895,300 jobs).

Nine of the 10 major industries experienced positive over-the-year job growth in June.

The industries gaining jobs over the year included leisure and hospitality (+146,500 jobs, +16.0 percent); professional and business services (+73,100 jobs, +5.5 percent); trade, transportation, and utilities (+57,300 jobs, +3.3 percent); education and health services (+30,800 jobs, +2.4 percent); financial activities (+22,300 jobs, +3.8 percent); other services (+21,800 jobs, +7.0 percent); construction (+12,900 jobs, +2.3 percent); manufacturing (+8,500 jobs, +2.3 percent); and information (+6,100 jobs, +4.8 percent).

One major industry losing jobs was total government (-20,200 jobs, -1.8 percent).

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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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