Florida unemployment rate slightly increases in July

State gains back 75% of jobs lost since pandemic began
Posted at 11:37 AM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 17:44:09-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity released the latest employment numbers for the state's economy on Friday.

Figures showed that Florida's unemployment rate rose slightly last month from 5 percent in June to 5.1 percent in July. For comparison, the U.S. unemployment rate in July was 5.4 percent.

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Florida Department of Economic Opportunity economist Adrienne Johnston said the state continues to battle a labor force shortage, which is impacting all job fields across the board.

"We know there's a lot of demand out there, and we expect to see as employers continue to increase in hiring that we'll get back to those pre-pandemic levels soon," Johnston said.

Adrienne Johnston and Emilie Oglesby share details on Florida employment numbers for July 2021
Department of Economic Opportunity Chief Economist Adrienne Johnston and Director of Communications and External Affairs Emilie Oglesby share details on Florida employment numbers for July 2021.

Despite the surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations this summer in the U.S., the state's top economist said the job numbers did not support that the delta virus spike is having a significant impact on Florida's economy.

"So far we do not see any impacts in our data on the labor market," Johnston said.

State data shows there have been 15 consecutive months of job growth with 63,900 private-sector jobs added in July.

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There were 530,000 jobless Floridians in July out of a total labor force of 10.4 million.

Florida lost more than 1.2 million jobs from February 2020 to April 2020 at the start of the pandemic but has since gained back 75 percent of those jobs that were lost.

Since the height of the pandemic, Florida has gained 964,400 jobs.

Florida July 2021 Labor Statistics
Statistics from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity show the state's labor force has increased 371,000 people since July 2020. The labor force is defined as currently employed workers as well as unemployed people who are actively seeking work.

The highest unemployment rate in the state is currently in Hendry County at 7.6 percent while the lowest is in Monroe County at 3.1 percent.

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In Palm Beach County, the unemployment rate for July is at 4.8 percent with leisure and hospitality continuing to show the biggest job gains.

Tom Veenstra
Tom Veenstra speaks about the strong job numbers in Palm Beach County.

"As we approach Labor Day, the Palm Beach County job market looks really strong," Tom Veenstra of CareerSource said. "What’s unusual is it's the summertime. That's usually our slow season."

Along the Treasure Coast, the unemployment rate stands at 5.1 percent with business and professional services jobs leading the way, according to CareerSource.

Below is the unemployment rate for Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast for July:

  • Palm Beach County: 4.8 percent (was 11.5 percent in July 2020)
  • Martin County: 4.1 percent (was 8.7 percent in July 2020)
  • St. Lucie County: 5.4 percent (was 11.2 percent in July 2020)
  • Indian River County: 5.4 percent (was 10.7 percent in July 2020)
  • Okeechobee County: 5.2 percent (was 8.5 percent in July 2020)