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Unemployment Down in Three-County Region

April 21, 2017



The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Gulf Coast region (Bay, Franklin, and Gulf counties) was 4.3 percent in March 2017. This rate was 0.4 percentage point lower than the region's year ago rate of 4.7 percent. The region's March 2017 unemployment rate was equal to the state rate of 4.3 percent. Out of a labor force of 101,062 there were 4,355 unemployed residents in the region.

Gulf County had the lowest unemployment rate (3.7 percent) in the CareerSource Gulf Coast region followed by Franklin County (3.9 percent), and Bay County (4.4 percent).

Unemployment Rates (%) (not seasonally adjusted)
                                          Mar-17             Feb-17           Mar-16
Bay County                         4.4                   5.2                        4.7
Franklin County                 3.9                      4.7                 4.4
Gulf County                       3.7                        4.4                4.5

The Panama City Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes Bay and Gulf Counties, marked an increase of 1,500, employment opportunities over the year. In three industry segments, the MSA grew faster than the state: professional and business services (+3.8 percent); trade, transportation, and utilities (+3.0 percent); and government (+2.1 percent).  

Industries gaining in jobs over the year were: trade, transportation, and utilities (+500 jobs); professional and business services (+400 jobs); mining, logging, and construction (+300 jobs); education and health services (+300 jobs); government (+300 jobs); and financial activities (+100 jobs). The leisure and hospitality (?200 jobs); manufacturing (?100 jobs); and information (?100 jobs) industries lost jobs over the year. The other services industry was unchanged over the year.

“Even though we know that the numbers in our rural counties don’t always capture the true unemployment situation, it’s good to see year-over-year improvement in the unemployment rate regionally,” said Kim Bodine, Executive Director of CareerSource Gulf Coast. “It’s great to see that we are up over last year in many sectors, although we have lost some jobs in manufacturing locally.   We are very glad to be building new advanced manufacturing jobs in the region with GKN Aerospace.”

 GKN Aerospace is hiring for their new manufacturing facility in Panama City, and two job fairs will take place next week. The first is Wednesday, April 26, at CareerSource Okaloosa Walton, 409 Racetrack Rd. NE, Ft. Walton Beach. The second is Thursday, April 27, at CareerSource Gulf Coast, 625 Hwy. 231, Panama City. Hours for both are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. All job seekers should begin the application process now at

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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