Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.

Columbia County News

Florida's March Employment
Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, and Union Counties

Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March 2010 is 12.3 percent.  This represents 1,138,000 jobless out of a labor force of 9,269,000.  The unemployment rate is up marginally from the February revised rate of 12.2 percent, and up 2.7 percentage points from the March 2009 rate of 9.6 percent.  March’s unemployment rate is the highest in the recorded series going back to 1970.  Florida’s unemployment rate remains higher than the national rate, which is 9.7 percent in March.

Workforce Region 7 - Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, and Union Counties

The unemployment rate in the Florida Crown Workforce region (Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, and Union Counties) was 11.2 percent in March 2010.  This was an increase of 3.1 percentage points from the region’s year ago rate.  In March 2010, the region’s unemployment rate was 0.8 percentage point below the state rate of 12.0 percent.  Out of a labor force of 51,102 there were 5,721 unemployed region residents.   

Employment by industry in the Florida Crown Workforce region totaled 30,899 in September 2009 (the latest available data).  Industry employment declined by 4.1 percent over the year, compared to -6.4 percent for the state.

The Florida Crown region lost 1,309 jobs in September 2009 over the year.  Among industries, education and health services added 145 jobs, natural resources and mining added 63 jobs and professional and business services added 38 jobs.  The greatest job losses were posted by: manufacturing (-505 jobs); construction (-362 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities (-290 jobs); leisure and hospitality (-187 jobs); financial activities (-80 jobs); government (-60 jobs); other services (-37 jobs); and information (-34 jobs).

The annual job growth rate in education and health services (+3.6 percent) exceeded that of the state (+1.5 percent).

Two of the region’s industry sectors, natural resources and mining (+13.0 percent) and professional and business services (+1.7 percent) had positive job growth in the area but declined in the state.

Comments  (to add a comment go here)

On April 17, 2010 concerned citizen wrote:

Regarding your unemployment rate for Columbia County. Is this the true rate or current rate? In Lee County unemployment shows at 12.4% but does not take into account those people that have given up and are not receiving unemployment, have run out of unemployment benefits, or have taken a low paying part time position. With these considerations the rate in Lee County is almost 25%. Goes with the foreclosure rate here which is just below 25%.