Unemployment jumps in Florida, signaling rocky road for recovery

florida jobs (Large)
The July unemployment rate surged to 11.3%.

In a not-so-sunny unemployment report signaling a rough road ahead to recovery, jobless numbers rose in the Sunshine State during July.

According to figures released Friday from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the monthly unemployment rate surged to 11.3%, up from 10.4% in the agency’s June report.

Facing rising numbers, the DEO abandoned its typically upbeat tone when announcing the July jobs numbers.

The DEO news release announcing June’s unemployment tally said the numbers continued “to show that Floridians are searching for work and businesses are creating jobs.”

And the DEO news release from the previous month, accompanying the May unemployment rate of 14.5%, said: “Floridians are confident and searching for work” and they are “beginning to search for work and businesses are creating jobs.”

Such appraisals were nowhere to be found in Friday’s report, a seeming concession that recovery isn’t on a glide path.

Some regions of the state are doing worse than others.

The Orlando region, hard hit by the slowdown in tourism, has a 15.3% rate (though down from 16.5% the month before, the only metro to decline), while Miami is close behind at 14%.

If there is a glimmer of good news amid an increasing unemployment rate in this phase of the economic recovery, it continues to be Floridians returning to the labor force.

In July, 223,000 Floridians did so, a number which corresponds to 2.3% of the workforce.

However, private-sector jobs are not greeting them, as job creation is slowing down despite economic restrictions being mostly lifted in many population centers.

Last month, Florida created only 74,000 of those private-sector jobs, a sharp decline from June’s 292,000.

If there are any positives to be found in July’s data, it’s this: The year-over-year job decline continues to be moderate, a number now standing at just over 490,000.

But that is a provisional comfort. at best.

With available jobs not keeping up with those who need them, effects are spilling over into consumer confidence, which ebbed month-over-month.

The number, which surged to 82.6 in June, dipped to 80.5.

With the re-employment crisis lingering, DEO has launched a new web portal.

Florida Insight, asserts the Department, is “a new labor market and economic data platform” designed to “assist individuals and businesses with making informed decisions about careers, investments and the economy.”

The Governor doesn’t have a press availability slated for today, but Democrats are teeing off.

“Donald Trump’s incompetent response to the coronavirus crisis has thrown millions of Floridians into economic insecurity — and his continued effort to downplay and distract from the pandemic clearly continues to cost Floridians their lives and livelihoods,” said Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a potential 2022 candidate for Governor.

Senate Democrats likewise, in a press call Friday, expressed dismay.

“The Republicans spent years dismantling unemployment benefits in Florida,” lamented Sen. Lori Berman.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Esteban yu

    August 21, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    The unemployment rate is above 5 % for more than 2 months already. According to Florida Law the unemployment benefits have to be extended . What happens De Santis?

  • Valerie Sprieser

    August 21, 2020 at 6:49 pm

    Desantis has not accepted the $300 trump has promised to replaced the $600! There is 11 states that have accepted the $and many people in those states are already getting the $300! Desantis hasn’t made his decision! What the h…L is he waiting for there are families cannot pay their bills! Shameful!

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