Gulf County unemployment sees small increase

Gulf County’s unemployment rate rose slightly last month to 3.5 percent, three tenths of a percentage point higher than in December, 2021. 

According to data released by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the total labor force got slightly larger in December, adding 33 workers and making up for some of November’s losses. This bring’s the county’s labor force to 5,298. 

Seventeen more people were added to the jobless rate, which now numbers 188.

In Dec. 2020, as the effects of COVID-19 pandemic lessened, Gulf County had a jobless rate of 3.2 percent and 160 people without jobs within a smaller workforce of 4,949 people.

The unemployment rate in Gulf County last month was slightly higher than Bay County, at 3.4, and Franklin County, at 3.3 percent. It was almost an entire percentage point lower than the state average, 4.4 percent.

Nonagricultural employment in the Panama City metropolitan area was 82,200, an increase of 500 jobs from the month before (+0.6 percent) and 3,700 jobs (+4.7 percent) over the year. 

Across the state, last year’s fastest growing industries included leisure and hospitality (+14.3 percent), information (+8 percent)dand professional and business services (+5.4 percent).

Compared to unemployment in Florida’s 66 other counties, Gulf tied with Bradford, Duval, Jackson, Jefferson, Pasco and Suwanee for 12th place. Miami-Dade County had the lowest unemployment rate at 1.4 percent, followed by Monroe County at 2.1 percent.

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