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Unemployment drops, but labor force shrinks

The size of
Franklin County’s labor force shrank, even as the unemployment picture improved
slightly in July.

According to
preliminary numbers released Friday by the Florida Department of Economic
Opportunity, the preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in July was
at 4.4 percent, two-tenths of 1 percentage point below the June rate of 4.6

snapshot of joblessness came as 13 people left the unemployment line, which now
numbers 222.

The size of
the labor force in July diminished by 63 workers, to 5,093. Still, the
workforce remains larger than one year ago, when it was at 4,707.

unemployment is significantly better than what it was one year ago, in the
midst of the raging coronavirus pandemic, when 312 people were on the jobless
rolls and the unemployment was at 6.6 percent.

The unemployment rate in Franklin County was a tad worse than
Gulf, which was at 4.2 percent, and than Bay County, which was at 4.3 percent.

Compared to
Florida’s 66 other counties, Franklin tied for 12th best, together with Baker,
Brevard, Collier, Pinellas and Santa Rosa. They were behind Bay at 4.3; Clay,
Gulf and Santa Rosa, at 4.2; Martin, Wakulla and
Walton, at 4.1; Nassau at 4.0; Okaloosa at 3.9; St. Johns at 3.6; and Monroe,
best in the state, at 3.1 percent.

Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.1
percent in July 2021, up one-tenth of 1 percentage point from the June 2021
rate, and down 6.4 percentage points from a year ago. There were 530,000
jobless Floridians out of a labor force of 10.48 million. The U.S. unemployment
rate was 5.4 percent in July.

seasonally adjusted total nonagricultural employment was 8.76 million in July
2021, an increase of 68,100 jobs (+0.8 percent) over the month. The state
gained 356,700 jobs over the year, an increase of 4.2 percent. Nationally, the
number of jobs rose 5.2 percent over the year.

The July
2021 total nonagricultural employment has not reached the pre-pandemic levels
in Feb. 2020. Florida lost 1.27 million from February to April 2020, and has
since gained back 953,400 jobs, over half of the jobs lost.

Nine of the
10 major industries experienced positive over-the-year job growth in July.
 The industries gaining jobs over the year included leisure and
hospitality (+137,800 jobs, +14.6 percent); professional and business services
(+63,200 jobs, +4.7 percent); trade, transportation, and utilities (+58,000
jobs, +3.3 percent); education and health services (+41,100 jobs, +3.2
percent); other services (+30,900 jobs, +9.9 percent); financial activities
(+22,000 jobs, +3.7 percent); construction (+12,400 jobs, +2.2 percent); manufacturing
(+9,600 jobs, +2.6 percent); and information (+6,700 jobs, +5.3 percent).

One major
industry losing jobs was total government (-23,200 jobs, -2.1 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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