Florida’s unemployment rate hits 2.5 percent in December

by | Jan 20, 2023


  • Unemployment rate is 2.5 percent, 0.1 percentage point lower than the previous month’s rate and 1.0 percentage point lower than the national rate of 3.5 percent.
  • Florida’s statewide unemployment rate has been lower than the national rate for 25 consecutive months since December 2020.
  • Between December 2021 and December 2022, Florida’s labor force grew by 361,000, or 3.5 percent — faster than the national labor force growth rate of 1.6 percent over the year.
  • The Sunshine State continued to grow and recover, despite an active hurricane season at the end of 2022.

Florida’s unemployment rate dropped to 2.5 percent in December 2022, a historic low last reached in 2006, according to data from the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO).

According to Friday’s report, Florida’s private sector employment increased by 425,800 jobs over the year and Florida’s labor force grew by 3.5 percent, more than double the national growth rate of 1.6 percent.

“Florida continues to outpace the nation and withstand negative headwinds due to federal policy,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I look forward to building off our success with record tax relief in the upcoming legislative session.”

A deeper dive shows that December marks the second month in 2022 that Florida reached a 2.5 percent unemployment rate.

Florida’s private sector employment increased by 425,800 jobs over the year in December (+5.3 percent), two full percentage points faster than the national over-the-year growth rate of 3.3 percent. Additionally, Florida’s private sector employment increased by 18,000 over the month (+0.2 percentage point).

Florida’s labor force also grew by 3.5 percent over the year in December, faster than the national growth rate of 1.6 percent over the same time period.

Meredith Ivey, the acting DEO Secretary, credited the boom as a result of the Governor’s “Freedom First policies.”

“Thanks to Governor DeSantis’ Freedom First policies, Florida continues to lead the nation in achieving economic milestones,” said Ivey. “DEO is proud to support the Governor’s mission to keep Florida free by identifying opportunities for growth and providing the resources citizens, businesses, and communities need to be successful.”

DeSantis also noted that the education and health services sectors gained the most jobs among all major industries, adding 9,500 jobs (+0.7 percent) over the month, followed by trade, transportation, and utilities, adding 5,400 jobs (+0.3 percent), and construction, adding 3,300 jobs (+0.5 percent).

Florida’s population also saw an uptick, reaching 22.2 million last year, while maintaining the state’s status as the third largest in the nation behind California and Texas.

Idaho experienced the second highest growth rate among all states at +1.8 percent followed by South Carolina (+1.7 percent) and Texas (+1.6 percent). New York, California, and Illinois are among states that experienced negative growth in 2022, with growth rates of -0.9 percent, -0.3 percent, and -0.8 percent, respectively.

Florida also experienced the largest net migration in 2022, ranking the fastest growing state in the nation with a growth rate of 1.9 percent. Domestic migration accounted for 318,855 of Florida’s net migration total, also the largest gain of any state. Florida ranked second among all states for numeric population growth over the year, gaining 416,754 people. Domestic migration accounted for 318,855 of the net migration total, also the largest gain of any state. Florida has experienced positive growth every year since 1946.

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