Gulf County jobless rate dips below 2%

Gulf County’s unemployment rate dropped sharply in April, improving to where fewer than 1 in 50 people in the workforce are without jobs.

According to data released last week by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the county’s jobless rate dipped to 1.9 percent as the labor force grew by 26 workers, to a total of 5,358, and the unemployment rate dropped by four-tenths of 1 percentage point.

The county’s ranks of the unemployed shrank to 104, as 19 people left the jobless rolls.

One year ago, in April 2021, Gulf County had a higher jobless rate of 3.6 percent as 188 people without jobs within a slightly smaller workforce of 5,215 people.

The unemployment rate in Gulf County last month was better than both Franklin and Bay counties, both at 2.1 percent.

Compared to unemployment in Florida’s 66 other counties, Gulf was tied for third best, along with Collier, Nassau, Okaloosa and Union counties, all at 1.9 percent. St. Johns was second, at 1.7; and Monroe County, best in the state, at 1.5 percent.

Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.0 percent in April, down from the March rate, and down 2.1 percentage points from a year ago. There were 321,000 jobless Floridians out of a labor force of 10.54 million. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in April.

Florida’s seasonally adjusted total nonagricultural employment was 9.29 million in April, an increase of 58,600 jobs (+0.6 percent) over the month. The state gained 517,100 jobs over the year, an increase of 5.9 percent. Nationally, the number of jobs rose 4.6 percent over the year.

Leisure and hospitality, with a growth of 152,300 jobs, better than 14 percent, led the list of industries gaining jobs over the year. These included trade, transportation, and utilities (+118,400 jobs, +6.5 percent); professional and business services (+102,100 jobs, +7.1 percent); financial activities (+40,800 jobs, +6.6 percent); education and health services (+25,800 jobs, +1.9 percent); and other services (+21,600 jobs, +6.6 percent).

Manufacturing saw growth of 20,700 jobs, up by 5.4 percent, while construction saw growth of 17,100 jobs, up 3.0 percent); information, up by 9,800 jobs, or 7.3 percent; and total government, a growth of 4,000 jobs, an improvement of 0.4 percent.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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