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January Jobs Report Released

March 13, 2017



The Panama City Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes Bay and Gulf Counties, marked an increase of 800 employment opportunities from January 2016 to January 2017. Following the annual U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) benchmarking process, data also showed year-over-year increases in five major industries.

“It’s good to see the increases in a number of industries” said Kim Bodine, Executive Director of CareerSource Gulf Coast. “Our overall momentum has been positive, although this is the first time in five years where we have seen even a slight increase in unemployment over last year for the month of January.”

Across the state however, residents are feeling more positive. The Florida Consumer Sentiment Index level was 97.8 in January 2017, up 5.4 points from January 2016 (up 0.5 points over the month). Perceptions of personal finances now compared to a year ago increased 4.8 points from 83.4 to 88.2 (up 5.4 points over the month).

Every March, the BLS and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) release January employment and unemployment estimates as well as revised historical data.  These benchmark revisions are a standard part of the estimation process and take place in each state nationwide. 

Out of a labor force of 97,140 there were 5,731 unemployed residents in the region. The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Gulf Coast region (Bay, Franklin, and Gulf counties) was 5.9 percent in January 2017. This rate was 0.4 percentage point higher than the region's year ago rate of 5.5 percent, and 0.8 percentage point higher than December 2016. The state’s unemployment rate increased as well, from 4.7 percent in December to 5.2 percent in January.  United States figures show an increase from 4.5 percent in December to 5.1 percent in January.

Unemployment Rates (%) (not seasonally adjusted)

                                    Jan-17             Dec-16           Jan-16
Bay County                        6.0                5.2               5.6
Franklin County                 5.0                4.4                 4.8
Gulf County                       5.4                  4.6                5.1

In January 2017 nonagricultural employment in the Panama City MSA was 81,700, an increase of 800 jobs over the year.  The industries gaining in jobs over the year were: trade, transportation, and utilities (+400 jobs); education and health services (+300 jobs); mining, logging, and construction (+200 jobs); financial activities (+200 jobs); and government (+200 jobs).  The manufacturing (-200 jobs); information (-100 jobs); professional and business services (-100 jobs); leisure and hospitality (-100 jobs) industries lost jobs over the year.  The other services industries were unchanged over the year.

A number of hiring opportunities are just around the corner. Among them are the 2017 Career Expo on April 12 at FSU-PC, and recruitment events for GKN, our newest business in Bay County.  “Information regarding GKN's recruitment and hiring is coming soon, however now is the perfect time to get ready for the process,” Bodine said. “Register in; don't just put the minimum profile information in our system.  Take your time, and be detailed – especially when it comes to your background information.”


CareerSource Gulf Coast provides services to job seekers and employers in Bay, Gulf and Franklin Counties. All employers in the region are welcome to post their jobs with CareerSource Gulf Coast, in order to acquire the best and brightest employees. Offices are operated in all three counties. Visit to learn more about professional workforce development and job placement services, all offered at no charge.


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CareerSource Gulf Coast is an equal employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. All voice telephone numbers on this website may be reached by persons using TTY/TDD equipment via the Florida Relay Service at 711.


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