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Local Unemployment Rates Remain Below National Average

April 27, 2018


Gulf Coast Region Unemployment Rates Remain Below US Average


PANAMA CITY, FL – The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Gulf Coast region (Bay, Franklin, and Gulf counties) was 3.6 percent in March 2018. This rate was 0.6 percentage point lower than the region's year ago rate of 4.2 percent. The March 2018 unemployment rate for the region was 0.2 percentage point lower than the state rate of 3.8 percent. The labor force was 100,692, up 1,679 (+1.7) over the year. There were 3,675 unemployed residents in the region.

 “It is great to see job growth in so many sectors.  Our employers, especially in tourism and construction are all reporting openings.  It’s a good time to look for a job,” said Kim Bodine, Executive Director for CareerSource Gulf Coast.

Unemployment Rates (%) (Not seasonally adjusted)

                                          Mar-18             Feb-18           Mar-17

Bay County                        3.7                      4.0                     4.2

Franklin County                 3.2                     3.5                     3.7

Gulf County                        3.7                     4.0                      3.8


In March 2018 nonagricultural employment in the Panama City MSA was 85,700, an increase of 1,700 jobs (+2.0 percent) over the year. The Panama City MSA had the third fastest annual job growth rate compared to all the metro areas in the state in professional and business services (+5.5 percent) in March 2018.

The mining, logging, and construction (+8.0 percent); professional and business services (+5.5 percent); financial activities (+4.5 percent); leisure and hospitality (+4.2 percent); and trade, transportation, and utilities (+1.8 percent) industries grew faster in the metro area than statewide over the year.

            The industries gaining in jobs over the year were: professional and business services (+600 jobs); leisure and hospitality (+600 jobs); mining, logging, and construction (+400 jobs); trade, transportation, and utilities (+300 jobs); financial activities (+200 jobs); and education and health services (+100 jobs).

            The manufacturing (-200 jobs); government (-200 jobs); and information (-100 jobs) industries lost jobs over the year.

             Bay County reports March residential permits issued at a number 20% higher than in February with one commercial permit pulled.  Franklin County reported no commercial permits issued but one residential permit issued, compared to three for the same period last year.  The February Gulf County bed tax collections are up 35.6% from January; Mexico Beach’s February bed tax collections being up by over nineteen percent from January. Bay County reports bed tax collections for February 2018 at 8.07% over the previous year and 34% above January 2018. Franklin County has January bed tax numbers available which reflect an 18.9% increase over January 2017 and a 26.7% increase above the prior month.


Additional Notes on Florida Unemployment Data

            Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.9 percent in March 2018, unchanged from the February 2018 rate, but down one half of one percentage point from a year ago. There were 400,000 jobless Floridians out of a labor force of 10,193,000. The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in March.


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