Graph showing unemployment rates statewide over time [ Florida DEO ]

Gulf County’s unemployment rises slightly in May

Gulf County’s unemployment rate took a little less than a half of 1 percentage point jump in May, as 18 people were added to the jobless rolls.

According to data released three weeks ago by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the labor force grew by 36 workers, to a total of 5,588, and the unemployment rate rose to 2.3 percent, as 126 people were without jobs.

One year ago, in May 2022, Gulf County had about the same jobless rate, at 2.2 percent.

The county’s jobless rate is tied with Okaloosa County for third best in the state, just behind Miami-Dade at 2.2, and Monroe County, best in the state, at 1.7 percent.

The unemployment rate in Gulf County last month was better than both Bay County, at 2.4 percent and Franklin County, at 2.5 percent.

Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.6 percent in May 2023, unchanged from the April 2023 rate, and down 0.3 percentage point from a year ago. There were 287,000 jobless Floridians out of a labor force of 10,998,000. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in May. Florida’s seasonally adjusted total nonagricultural employment was 9,726,100 in May 2023, an increase of 17,500 jobs (+0.2 percent) over the month. The state gained 346,600 jobs over the year, an increase of 3.7 percent. Nationally, the number of jobs rose 2.7 percent over the year. 

The industries gaining jobs over the year included education and health services (+99,300 jobs, +7.2 percent); leisure and hospitality (+86,200 jobs, +7.0 percent); professional and business services (+48,500 jobs, +3.1 percent); trade, transportation, and utilities (+48,000 jobs, +2.5 percent); total government (+23,200 jobs, +2.1 percent); financial activities (+18,600 jobs, +2.8 percent); manufacturing (+10,400 jobs, +2.6 percent); other services (+9,500 jobs, +2.8 percent); and construction (+6,200 jobs, +1.0 percent).

Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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