County unemployment rate takes wrong turn

Published: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 12:54 PM.

Every March, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) release revised historical data along with the January employment and unemployment estimates. That annual process, known as “benchmarking” is a standard part of the estimation process and take place this same time every year in each state nationwide.

As a result of this annual benchmarking process, local employment data has been adjusted to show job growth instead of job losses in the Panama City metro area.

The figures that show the Panama City-Lynn Haven-Panama City Beach area lost 600 jobs from Dec. 2012 to Dec. 2013 have been adjusted to show an increase of 1,200 jobs, with the largest gains coming from the trade, transportation, and utilities; professional and business services; and mining, logging, and construction industries.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen several positive signs in the local job market so we are not surprised that the annual benchmarking process has revised our numbers to show job gains,” said Kim Bodine, executive director for CareerSource Gulf Coast. “The unemployment rate has dropped 2.5 percent and the number of online jobs advertised has increased by almost 20 percent.”

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