Jobless rate rises as workforce shrinks

Published: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at 02:15 PM.

The Panama City-Lynn Haven-Panama City Beach area ranked fourth lowest in terms of unemployment rates, behind the Crestview-Ft Walton Beach-Destin; Gainesville; and Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach areas.

The Bay County metro area lost 2,100 jobs over the year, an annual rate of job loss of 2.8 percent, the highest rate of all of Florida’s metro areas. The state increased jobs at a 2.1 percent rate. . The metro area lost the most jobs in trade, transportation, and utilities; education and health services; and leisure and hospitality.

“We question the accuracy of the job loss number,” said Bodine. “As reported recently, July was a banner month for our tourism industry (leisure and hospitality) and we have seen increased taxable sales over the year along with strong employment opportunities in the retail trade sector; the numbers just don’t add up.” 

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