Florida's unemployment rate down slightly in December to 6.1%

614,000 Floridians out of work in December, according to new report
File photo of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.jpg
Posted at 6:18 AM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 19:48:50-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida's unemployment rate dropped slightly in December to 6.1%, new figures released on Friday show.

According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the state's jobless rate was down 0.2% from November, and up 3.2% from the same time last year. The U.S. unemployment rate was 6.7% in December.

There were 614,000 Floridians out of work in December, the figures show.

You can read the full report by clicking here.

The United States Department of Labor just announced new numbers that show about 900,000 people applied for unemployment last week nationwide. That's down from about 926,000 the week before, but still way above average.

The department estimated about 26,559 people filing claims in Florida, compared to 30,583 the week before.

Local certified financial planner Patrick Hart of Concierge Capital Management said a rebound is on the way, but it will still take us some time to get there.

Hart said curbing the spread of COVID-19 and getting people vaccinated are vital to economic recovery.

"Use the example of the stay-at-home mom, and she wasn't a stay-at-home mom a year ago because she felt safe dropping her kids off at daycare or school," said Hart. "So once we really don't have to worry about getting sick anymore, that's when you'll see things start to flourish, reopen and we'll have this year of recovery that me and a lot of other analysts believe are going to come."

Hart added that major industries that took the biggest hits in 2020 may start to bounce back by this summer.

"Think of any kind of travel or transportation industry, secondarily hotels or hospitality whether is restaurants or resorts in between, they're all going to start coming back, and thirdly a lot of manufacturing. Companies that had scaled down their production because they needed to keep safety distances between them," Hart said.

Hart said holiday jobs coming to an end may also contribute to the numbers.

"Seasonal jobs just ended so the amount of people that were working in retail or Christmas tree sales or what have you are probably those people that are escalating the number for the last couple of weeks, so the expectation is they'll kind of level off a bit to where we were most of the summer and into the fall," said Hart.