Franklin County’s jobless rate stayed steady last month at 3.5 percent, with the size of the workforce also remaining constant.
According to preliminary data from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity released Friday, Franklin County posted the lowest unemployment rate across the three-county Gulf Coast region, and sixth lowest in the state.
The numbers showed that three people left the jobless rolls, which included 168 people, and the workforce rose by just two workers to 4,850, nearly identical to one year ago when it comprised 4,851 workers, and the jobless rate was higher at 4.3 percent.
The August jobless numbers put Franklin just behind Wakulla at 3.4 percent, and Walton and Okaloosa at 3.3 percent, with St. Johns at 3.2 and Monroe County best at 2.7 percent joblessness.
Unemployment in the CareerSource Gulf Coast region, comprising Bay, Gulf and Franklin counties, slid in August to 3.9 percent, a slight improvement from the July mark of 4.1 percent, and nearly a full percentage point down from a year ago. Bay was at 4.0, and Gulf at 3.8 percent.
CareerSource Gulf Coast maintained a lower rate than the state, which came in at 4.2 percent for August. The region’s labor force was at 101,913, up 1,115 over the year, with 4,005 unemployed residents across the three counties.
Industries gaining in jobs over the year were mining, logging, and construction (+500 jobs); trade, transportation, and utilities (+400 jobs); government (+400 jobs); professional and business services (+300 jobs); education and health services (+300 jobs); and financial activities (+200 jobs).
The state’s report noted that manufacturing, information and other services industries went unchanged, but that the leisure and hospitality industry lost 900 jobs over the year.
“We continue to find this loss in tourism-related jobs a bit surprising,” said Kim Bodine, executive director of CareerSource Gulf Coast. “We all know that some of those jobs are more seasonal than others, but July was a busy month for local tourism.”
CareerSource Gulf Coast provides services to job seekers and employers in Bay, Gulf and Franklin Counties. Offices are operated in all three counties. Visit www.careersourcegc.com to learn more about professional workforce development and job placement services, all offered at no charge.