Florida TaxWatch releases assessment on COVID-19’s impact in Florida

by | Feb 23, 2021

Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released a new assessment detailing the impact COVID-19 had on Florida’s workforce.

The watchdog institute unveiled its Economic Commentary: The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s Employment on Tuesday, analyzing the economic consequences brought on Florida’s labor market by the COVID-19 pandemic. The group found the state’s labor force continues to face complex issues as the lingering virus plagues the state’s tourism sector, as well as other industries and regions.

“For more than 40 years, Florida TaxWatch has been recognized as the trusted eyes and ears of the taxpayers. In fact, one of our core functions is informing taxpayers of the current economic climate and evaluating the financial impact it has had and may continue to have on them and their families and businesses,” said Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic M. Calabro. While COVID-19’s effect on employment is highly nuanced and affects each and every sector of the economy differently, we are hopeful that the findings released today will assist policymakers in making smart and strategic decisions as the state continues to recover.”

According to FTW’s research, Florida’s recovery seems to be a mixed bag. While the Sunshine State closed out 2020 on a optimistic note, posting a 6.1 percent unemployment rate while regaining over half of the jobs lost since the onset of the pandemic, nonagricultural employment still faced an uphill battle, with its total employment at approximately 8.6 million, signaling the net loss of 419,000 jobs over the course of the year.

The industry subsectors contributing the most to this unemployment were Accommodation and Food Services (in the Leisure and Hospitality industry) with 158,00 jobs; Administrative and Waste Services (in the Professional and Business Services industry) with 56,100 jobs; and Retail Trade (in the Trade, Transportation and Utilities industry) with 24,000 jobs.

Additionally, the commentary noted that the state’s tourism industry was also crippled by the pandemic, with total enplanements into Miami and Orlando falling by 90.8 percent and 89.3 percent between April and June of 2020.

The assessment also found that Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) where there is a heavy reliance on tourism – Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Lakeland-Winter Haven and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm – face the highest levels of unemployment when compared MSAs statewide, likely because of a reduction in tourism spending, the temporary stay-at home order and/or periodic rises in COVID-19 cases.

To view the full report, click here.


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