Florida’s unemployment rate reaches historic low

Posted on December 20, 2019 by Staff reports

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on December 20 announced Florida’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.1 percent, a historic low, recorded only twice in more than 40 years and for the first time since March 2006. During the past year 1,500 new private-sector jobs have been added in the Pensacola area.

The local area’s unemployment rate for November was 2.7 percent — down 0.4 percentage point from one year ago, per DeSantis. 

The industries with the highest growth over the year in the Pensacola area were leisure and hospitality with 1,200 new jobs and education and health services with 1,100 new jobs. In November, the Pensacola area had 6,521 job openings and of those, 1,832 were for high-skill, high-wage STEM jobs.

Statewide 10,300 new private-sector jobs were created during November. Also, in November, the state’s labor force increased for the sixth consecutive month. Over the year, Florida businesses created 201,700 private-sector jobs and the state’s annual private-sector job growth rate of 2.6 percent continues to outpace the national job growth rate of 1.6 percent.

“Florida continued to experience positive economic indicators throughout 2019, including a consistently low unemployment rate,” said Governor DeSantis. “Though we have had a successful year, the state of Florida will not rest on our laurels. My administration is committed to the success of this state and all Floridians. Moving forward, I will continue to prioritize investments in Florida’s workforce and infrastructure to provide continued opportunities for our communities to be resilient and prepared for the future.”

In 2019, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 19-31, declaring his commitment to workforce development in Florida by challenging state agency leadership to put Florida on course to become the national leader in workforce education by 2030. This administration is focused on making workforce development a priority. Governor DeSantis’ Bolder, Brighter, Better Future Budget invests $25 million in key workforce development initiatives at the Florida Department of Education. 

Additionally, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has worked with the Florida Talent Development Council on creating a strategic plan that develops a coordinated, data-driven, statewide approach to meeting Florida’s needs for a 21st-century workforce that employers and educators use as part of Florida’s talent supply system. These are just a few of the investments this administration has made to focus on creating the perfect conditions for building a talented workforce for Florida’s future.

Governor DeSantis also included repairing and replacing critical infrastructure damaged from Hurricanes Irma and Michael in his budget proposal to not only improve our resiliency to future storms, but it will also support growth in some of Florida’s most vulnerable communities.

Additionally, Governor DeSantis has requested the Florida Legislature fund the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to provide funding for job training and public infrastructure projects that support growth and employment in Florida.

“Today’s announcement is continued proof that Governor DeSantis’ focus on creating a smart regulatory environment and keeping taxes low is working and Florida’s residents, businesses and communities are benefiting,” said Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Ken Lawson. “Maintaining business-friendly policies, investing in Florida’s infrastructure and developing a workforce for the 21st century makes sense, and businesses throughout the nation are paying attention.”

Other positive economic indicators include:

  • Private-sector industries gaining the most jobs over-the-year were:
    • Education and health services with 62,300 new jobs;
    • Leisure and hospitality with 38,100 new jobs;
    • Professional and business services with 33,600 new jobs;
    • Construction with 26,700 new jobs;
    • Trade, transportation and utilities with 17,400 new jobs; and
    • Financial Activites with 11,900 new jobs.
  • Florida job postings showed 284,849 openings in November 2019
  • Consumer Sentiment Index is 99.3 in November 2019.