© 2023 | WUWF Public Media
11000 University Parkway
Pensacola, FL 32514
850 474-2787
NPR for Florida's Great Northwest
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Florida Jobless Rate Ticks Up A Bit; Virtually Unchanged In NWFL

FL Department of Economic Opportunity

Florida’s unemployment rate moved the wrong way from September to last month. State officials on Friday announced the state's jobless rate was 4.8 percent in October, compared to 4.9 in September, remaining slightly lower than the national jobless rate of 4.9 percent. The rate has hovered around that for much of this year.

“Our private-sector businesses are showing confidence in the economy every month, by adding new jobs,” said Cissy Proctor, Director of the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity. “People are out there looking for jobs and are finding jobs. And that’s what’s really important.”

Cissy Proctor is Director of the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity. Florida added 5,700 jobs in October, but out of a labor force or more than 9.8 million, 473,000 Floridians seeking a job didn’t find one in October. According to DEO, 3,500 private-sector jobs have been added in the Pensacola area over the past year.

“The industry in the Pensacola area with the fastest job growth over the year was Business and Professional Services, which added about 900 new jobs” said Proctor. “Those are typically jobs that require a college degree and demand a higher wage.”

Gov. Rick Scott, who has made job growth his main focus as governor, announced the numbers during a visit to Ideal Aluminum in St. Augustine. He spoke of job creation last month at the groundbreaking of Pensacola’s VT MAE aircraft plant.

“We’re at 3.6 percent job growth rate; the highest in the entire nation,” said the Governor. “The national average is 1.9 percent. It’s because everybody’s working together hard, to make sure we get all the jobs in Florida for our kids and our grandkids.”

But, Florida’s 5,700 jobs in October trailed at least ten other states, such as California, Michigan, Wisconsin, and next door neighbor Alabama. In Pensacola, Scott spoke of picking up the pace in his final two years in office.

“We have to keep recruiting companies, we have to keep thinking about how do we make that company more successful,” said Scott. “Because they’re competing every day, and if we make them more successful, we’re going to get the jobs.”

Unemployment rates in the local metro areas were also unchanged. Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent stayed at 4.9 percent, while Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin went from 4.1-4.2 percent. The Pensacola area had about 4,500 job openings last month, including almost 1,200 for high-skill, high-wage STEM occupations – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Related Content