Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity recently released its 2021 jobs report, where the organization marked 479,300 new jobs within The Sunshine State since December of 2020. Of these new hires, over 50,000 were in the industries of health and education, helping to mitigate the ongoing worker shortages in those sectors.
Florida has experienced a surging economic recovery coming out of the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, marking 20 consecutive months of an economic surge as well as 14 consecutive months of labor force increase.
“Month after month, the data continues to show that freedom first economic policies create jobs and keep our economy moving,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Our new businesses and workforce growth show that Floridians have the opportunities they need to thrive. We will continue to lead the nation in economic growth because we value the individual freedoms of Floridians and protect the ability for our citizens to succeed.”
All of Florida’s major industries gained jobs over the year, including construction, trade, transportation, and professional and businesses services. Additionally, Florida’s unemployment rate remained low, decreasing by 0.1 percentage point to 4.4 percent in December 2021.
Leisure and hospitality saw the largest labor force growth, adding 142, 600 jobs as tourists flocked to the state last year.
“Over the past few years, the best marketing for Florida has been Gov. Ron DeSantis empowering individuals and businesses to innovate throughout the pandemic instead of mandating top-down approaches, maintaining the option of in-person schooling, and working to keep Florida as one of the freest states in the nation,” said Skylar Zander, Americans For Prosperity – Florida State Director. “Our Governor is marketing our state more effectively than any 30-second advertisement could. Let’s stop wasting Florida’s taxpayer dollars on these types of programs.”
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities also saw growth over the last year, adding upwards of 91,000 workers, while Professional and Business Services (73,800 new jobs), Financial Activities (30,400 new jobs), and Construction (20,400 new jobs) all saw upward industry growth.
“Governor DeSantis continues to prioritize investments in industries that further diversify our state’s economy,” said Secretary Dane Eagle of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. “Floridians have remained confident in their ability to find good jobs to continue providing for their families and enhancing their quality of life. Along with Governor DeSantis, I remain committed to continuing to make Florida an attractive state for business and workforce growth for years to come.”
While seeing job growth across the board, Florida also maintained a low unemployment rate, concluding the year at 4.4 percent. Miami-Dade County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate in December(1.4 percent), followed by Monroe County (2.1 percent), St. Johns County (2.5 percent), and Collier County (2.7 percent), while Putnam County had the highest unemployment rate (5.2 percent), followed by Hamilton County (5.1 percent), Citrus County, Highlands County, and Sumter County (4.7 percent each).