Florida enters coronavirus slowdown on strength of historic low unemployment rate

by | Mar 16, 2020

This morning, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced a notably low employment rate of 2.8 percent. This comes just a week after Governor Ron DeSantis activated DEO’s Business Damage Assessment Survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s local businesses.

“Gathering information about the impact COVID-19 has on Florida businesses and industries will be invaluable to the state’s efforts in coordinating our response,” said DeSantis. “It is important that we understand the total impact COVID-19 has on businesses to ensure that we access the resources that may be available.”

According to the release from DEO:

Statewide, Florida businesses created 31,500 new private-sector jobs in January 2020. Florida’s annual private-sector job growth rate of 2.1 percent continues to exceed the nation’s rate of 1.5 percent. Florida’s unemployment rate of 2.8 percent represents a drop of 0.6 percentage point over the year. This is while 179,000 people entered Florida’s labor force, a growth of 1.7 percent in the past year.

The last time DEO announced the unemployment rate was January 24th, with a record low of 3.0% for an end-of-year report of 2019.

“Florida businesses created 198,200 private-sector jobs over the year and the state’s annual private-sector job growth rate of 2.5 percent continues to outpace the national job growth rate of 1.5 percent.”

“While our partners across the state work intensely to stop the spread of COVID-19, our agency is assessing the resources Florida’s impacted communities and businesses may need,” said Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Ken Lawson.”

Other positive economic indicators include:
  • Private-sector industries gaining the most jobs over-the-year were:
  • Education and health services with 34,900 new jobs;
  • Professional and business services with 31,400 new jobs;
  • Leisure and hospitality with 29,700 new jobs;
  • Trade, transportation and utilities with 27,800 new jobs; and
  • Construction with 21,500 new jobs.
  • Consumer Sentiment Index is 99.4 in January 2020.

With Florida and other states announcing widespread curbs on public gatherings, Florida’s economy will likely take a signfiicant hit for next month, but at least the state is starting from a position of strength.

1 Comment

  1. Melvin

    I’m currently on unemployment and I haven’t been able to find a job since October of last year. I have NO idea where they are getting these wonderful numbers from unless they are counting extremely low wage jobs that I have come across so many times and, I work in IT!

    I have been on unemployment benefices since December of 2019 and now they are about to run out as it was ONLY 12 weeks of payments. Since COVID-19 scare, have had a few big time interviews already cancel as of last week and this week and most companies are now putting a 30 day hiring freeze on all new positions so, I have NO idea what i am going to do.

    I HOPE that I can get an extension do to this national emergency or am screwed.

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