Florida’s January 2022 unemployment data was reported as 3.5 percent, marking the 14th consecutive month that the state has maintained an unemployment rate lower than the national average of 4 percent.
In the timeframe between January 2021 and January of this year, Florida’s unemployment rate decreased by 2.5 percentage points, placing The Sunshine State near the top of the list of states with the lowest unemployment rates, only trailing the likes of Alabama, Vermont, and New Hampshire.
“Florida’s January 2022 numbers and the U.S. Department of Labor’s updated data for 2021 demonstrate that Florida continues to have a robust economic climate where individual Floridians have opportunities to get ahead – even in the face of inflationary federal policies that are causing the price of virtually everything to spike,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Florida has surpassed 2019 numbers in almost every regard, including employment and labor force participation while lockdown states continue to lag.”
The state labor force was up 48,000 over the month, bringing the January 2022 total up to 10,448,000. Florida’s labor force growth represents a 3.1% increase over the year compared to 2.2% nationally, and Florida businesses gained 23,900 private-sector jobs over the month, increasing by 0.3 percentage points.
Private-sector industries gaining the most jobs over the month were: professional and business services with 9,300 new jobs, trade, transportation, and utilities with 7,400 new jobs, leisure and hospitality with 4,300 new jobs, and financial activities with 3,200 new jobs.
“Thanks to Governor DeSantis’ relentless freedom first economic policies and no excuses approach, Florida is the best place for businesses and families to grow their footprints,” said DEO Secretary Dane Eagle. “DEO will continue to work hand-in-hand with its partners to create innovative and valuable opportunities for Floridians and their communities.”
Monroe County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate in January (2.3 percent), followed by St. John’s County (2.6 percent), Wakulla County (2.8 percent), and Okaloosa County (2.8 percent), while Putnam County had the highest unemployment rate (5.1 percent), followed by Hamilton County (5.1 percent), Citrus County (4.7 percent).
Retroactive employment highlights include Florida’s unemployment rate topping the national average by a range of 0.4 percent to 1.1 percent from December 2020 through January 2022. Florida’s unemployment rate has additionally held steady or declined for 18 consecutive months.
Florida reached the pre-pandemic job growth rate in October 2021, and now has 124,700 more private-sector jobs than February 2020, or 101.6% of the pre-pandemic level. Florida reached pre-pandemic labor force levels in June 2021 and now has 154,000 more Floridians in the workforce than February 2020, or 101.5% of the pre-pandemic level. Florida employers have maintained or added jobs for 21 consecutive months since May 2020.