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Unemployment Rates in Gulf Coast Region Rise Following Hurricane Michael

December 21, 2018


PANAMA CITY, FL – The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Gulf Coast region (Bay, Franklin, and Gulf counties) was 6.2 percent in November. This rate is 2.5 percent higher than the region's year ago rate of 3.7 percent. The region's November unemployment rate was 3.2 percentage points higher than the state rate of 3.0 percent. The labor force was 100,786, up 2,045 (+2.1 percent) over the year. There were 6,203 unemployed residents in the region.

Franklin County had the lowest unemployment rate (5 percent) in the CareerSource Gulf Coast region, followed by Bay County (6.1 percent) and Gulf County (8.4 percent). These three counties reflect the highest unemployment rates for the state of Florida.

“We are not surprised that our region has a higher unemployment rate than the state average,” said Kimberly Bodine, Executive Director of CareerSource Gulf Coast. “Our area lost many jobs because of Hurricane Michael. We have also had well-over 10,000 people apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) due to their personal situations, and we expect that number to increase by the deadline (Monday, December 31, 2018).” 


Unemployment Rates (%) (not seasonally adjusted)

                                          Nov-18             Oct-18           Nov-17

Bay County                       6.1                 2.8                3.8

Franklin County               5.0                  2.9                3.4

Gulf County                      8.4                 2.8                3.4


In November 2018, nonagricultural employment in the Panama City MSA was 84,000, a decrease of 400 jobs (-0.5 percent) over the year. Panama City MSA was the only metro area in Florida to experience over-the-year job loss in November 2018. The professional and business services (+4.2 percent) industry grew faster in the metro area than statewide over the year.

The industries gaining in jobs over the year were: professional and business services (+500 jobs); trade, transportation, and utilities (+200 jobs); and mining, logging, and construction (+100 jobs). The education and health services (-400 jobs); manufacturing (-200 jobs); leisure and hospitality (-200 jobs); information (-100 jobs); and financial activities (-100 jobs) industries lost jobs over the year. The other services industries were unchanged over the year.



Additional Notes

Florida Unemployment Data

            Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.3 percent in November 2018, down 0.1 percentage point from the October 2018 rate, and down 0.6 percentage point from a year ago. There were 335,000 jobless Floridians out of a labor force of 10,256,000. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in November.


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