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Gulf Coast Region Unemployment Rates Remain Below US

June 5, 2018



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         MEDIA CONTACT:

May 18, 2018                                                                           Kim Bodine, 850-913-3285


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 3.2 percent in April 2018. This rate was 0.7 of a percentage point lower than the region's year ago rate of 3.9 percent and 0.2 of a percentage point lower than the state’s rate of 3.4 percent. The regional labor force was 101,203, up 2,328 (+2.4 percent) over the year. There were 3,269 unemployed residents in the region.

       “We continue to have good job growth in many sectors.  The large year over year gains in hospitality and leisure bode well for a strong tourism season. ,” said Kim Bodine, Executive Director for CareerSource Gulf Coast.

Unemployment Rates (%) (Not seasonally adjusted)

                                          Apr-18             Mar-18           Apr-17

Bay County                        3.3                3.7                     3.9

Franklin County                2.8                3.2                     3.4

Gulf County                       3.2                3.7                     3.7

In April 2018 nonagricultural employment in the Panama City MSA was 86,900, an increase of 2,900 jobs (+3.5 percent) over the year. The Panama City MSA had the second fastest annual job growth rate compared to all the metro areas in the state in professional and business services (+8.3 percent) in April 2018.

The professional and business services (+8.3 percent); mining and logging and construction (+7.8 percent); leisure and hospitality (+6.8 percent); and trade, transportation, and utilities (+2.5 percent) industries grew as fast as or faster in the metro area than statewide over the year.

The industries gaining in jobs over the year were:  leisure and hospitality (+1000 jobs); professional and business services (+900 jobs) mining, logging, and construction (+400 jobs); trade, transportation, and utilities (+400 jobs); financial activities (+100 jobs); education and health services (+300 jobs) and government (+100 jobs).       

      The manufacturing (-200 jobs) and information (-100 jobs) industries lost jobs over the year.   Bay County reports April residential permits issued at a number 57% higher than in March with four commercial permits pulled.  Franklin County reported no commercial permits issued but one residential permit issued, compared to two for the same period last year.  Gulf County reports eleven permits for residential in April of 2018, down from fourteen in March and thirteen in April of 2017.

      The March Gulf County bed tax collections are up 47% from February; Mexico Beach’s March bed tax collections being up by over 50% from February. Bay County reports bed tax collections for March 2018 at almost 54% over the previous year and 17.8% above March 2017. Franklin County has February bed tax numbers available which reflect a decrease of 3.45% from February 2017 but an increase of approximately twelve percent above the prior month.


Additional Notes

Florida Unemployment Data

            Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.9 percent in April 2018, unchanged from the March 2018 rate, but down 0.4 of a percentage point from a year ago. There were 398,000 jobless Floridians out of a labor force of 10,204,000. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.9 percent in April.


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