Florida Unemployment Rate Unchanged
Florida Unemployment Rate Unchanged
TALLAHASSEE — Florida’s unemployment rate remained unchanged in July, holding at 10.7 percent — meaning close to 1 million Florida workers remain unemployed.
State officials suggested that a recent infusion of federal stimulus dollars could have helped in stabilizing the job decline.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is up 4.4 percent from the July 2008 rate and is 1.3 percent points higher than the national jobless rate of 9.4 percent.
The last time the state’s unemployment rate was higher than June and July of 2009 was October 1975, when it was 11.0 percent.
“The Agency for Workforce Innovation continues to infuse federal stimulus funds directly to Floridians and into our economy through our Offices of Unemployment Compensation, Workforce Services and Early Learning to help meet critical needs during this extraordinary time,” said Agency Director Cynthia R. Lorenzo.
“Through our Unemployment Compensation Division alone, we have already paid $944.5 million in benefits funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to 752,377 Floridians, resulting in a positive impact of $1.5 billion to Florida’s economy.”
National economic experts estimate that for every $1 in unemployment compensation benefits paid, there is a positive impact of $1.63 on the local economy. Using this equation, AWI estimates a positive economic impact of $1.5 billion resulting from the current total of $944.5 million in Recovery-related unemployment payments.
The 10.7 percent unemployment rate represents 987,000 jobless out of a labor force of 9,193,000.
The July 2009 job loss continues the trend of annual declines that began in August 2007. The downturn started with declines in construction jobs, but has now spread to almost all other major industries.
Below is a listing of some of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act programs the Agency for Workforce Innovation is currently administering:
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Funds at Work
- Extended Benefits: Since July 2, AWI has paid an estimated $207.4 million to more than 89,500 Floridians. It is estimated that $418 million will be paid by the end of the year.
- Additional $25 weekly: Since March 19, AWI has paid more than $291.6 million in Federal Additional Compensation to more than 752,000 Floridians. It is estimated that $345 million will be paid by July 2010.
- Emergency Unemployment Compensation: To date, AWI has paid $445 million in federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) to 627,000 Floridians under the provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
- Workforce Services: $165 million in workforce services are being used to meet the needs of local communities for enhanced job placement and job training services, including summer youth programs, adult employment programs that match job seekers with businesses and additional services at One-Stop Career Centers.
- Grant funding: AWI recently received a $3.1 million Re-employment and Eligibility Assessment (REA) grant to be used in conjunction with stimulus funds to provide unemployment compensation customers with additional assistance in finding jobs. The REA grant will allow local One-Stop Career Centers to increase staffing to conduct in-person assessments of unemployed Floridians to provide a more focused job search. This grant expands the number of Regional Workforce Boards offering these specialized services from six to 19 of the state’s 24 regions.
- Early Learning: $105 million will provide approximately 20,000 high-quality early learning slots for children so income-eligible parents can work. The funds also provide for system enhancements to better serve children and families.
For more information about Florida’s use of federal dollars made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, please visit www.floridajobs.org or www.FlaRecovery.com.
Florida’s workforce system provides critical programs and services to job seekers and businesses alike. Such services offered throughout the state include:
- Employ Florida Marketplace: The Employ Florida Marketplace Online Job Bank provides 24/7 access to a wide variety of local, state and national job openings. Follow this link to access the Employ Florida Marketplace. (http://www.employflorida.com/).
- One-Stop Career Centers: Florida’s nearly 90 One-Stop Career Centers, locally operated by Regional Workforce Boards, provide local access to job placement services, local workforce information and job training opportunities. Follow this link for a Map of Florida One-Stop Career Centers. (http://www.floridajobs.org/onestop/onestopdir/index.htm)
- Mobile One-Stop Career Centers: Florida’s Mobile One-Stop Career Centers allow citizens in rural areas, at job fairs and during emergency situations to access critical workforce information and services.
- Ready to Work Credential: The Florida Ready to Work Credential program provides a career readiness certificate signed by Gov. Charlie Crist that verifies the employee or job seeker has the foundational workplace skills required for most positions. Of value to both businesses looking to hire and workers seeking to find or maintain employment, Ready to Work is a free program funded by the State of Florida. For more information, please visit www.floridareadytowork.com or call 877-444-4505.
- Labor Market Information: The Agency for Workforce Innovation’s Labor Market Statistics Center produces data such as employment, unemployment and wage information that assist workforce/economic development, education, employers and job seekers. These statistics assist with economic analysis, business recruitment, career counseling and other critical business decision-making. Follow this link for information about the Agency’s Labor Market Statistics Center. (http://www.labormarketinfo.com/.)
- Work Opportunity Tax Credit: The Work Opportunity Tax Credit offers a financial incentive to private, for-profit employers to hire individuals from certain targeted groups who experience high rates of unemployment due to a variety of employment barriers. Follow this link for information about the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. (http://www.floridajobs.org/workforce/wotc.html)