South Florida seeing some sunshine when it comes to unemployment

Fewer restrictions, better weather presents clearer jobless picture
Posted at 5:16 PM, Nov 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-25 17:16:55-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — As the late fall days turn cooler in South Florida, it's the business climate that's warming up.

"It may well be that the state of Florida sees substantial improvement in business activity in the near term," senior economist Mark Hamrick said Wednesday.

Hamrick said the coronavirus pandemic jobless picture appears improved in Florida because of fewer restrictions and better weather that allows the restaurant industry to take advantage of the outdoors.

Rocco's Tacos namesake Rocco Mangel said employment at his Florida locations is about 80% and he's looking to hire more help.

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"Right now, we're looking for help, all the way from the most important person in the room, which I say is the dish washer, all the way up to management and general managers," Mangel said.

Recent data points to a leveling of unemployment throughout Florida, while in other states restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 may be pointing to increased unemployment.

"I expect that the unemployment rate will struggle to go substantially lower from where it has been recently," Hamrick said.

The nationwide unemployment is currently at 6.7%. In Florida, the number is slightly lower at 6.5%.