Florida Jobs Report Shows Declining Unemployment, Indicators of Economic Growth

Woman checking out a business


A jobs report from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) shows Florida is continuing to lead the county in job creation and lower unemployment rates. Florida’s unemployment rate fell to 4.4 percent in December 2021 – down 0.1 percent from November 2021.

The report indicates good news for Florida’s economy with Florida gaining 479,300 jobs throughout the entirety of 2021, which is an increase of 5.6 percent. The national jobs creation average during the same time period was 4.5 percent.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and DEO officials highlighted the data touting the effectiveness of Florida’s pro-freedom policies.

“Month after month, the data continues to show that freedom first economic policies create jobs and keep our economy moving,” DeSantis said in a Friday statement. “Our new businesses and workforce growth show that Floridians have the opportunities they need to thrive.  We will continue to lead the nation in economic growth because we value the individual freedoms of Floridians and protect the ability for our citizens to succeed.”

As a result of the pandemic, Florida lost over 1.2 million jobs, but has regained approximately 1.16 million jobs – or a little more than 96 percent of the jobs originally lost.

During December 2021, all of Florida’s 24 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) reflected over-the-year jobs gains with the largest gains coming from Central Florida’s economic powerhouse, the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford MSA.

“Governor DeSantis continues to prioritize investments in industries that further diversify our state’s economy,” said DEO Secretary Dane Eagle. “Floridians have remained confident in their ability to find good jobs to continue providing for their families and enhancing their quality of life. Along with Governor DeSantis, I remain committed to continuing to make Florida an attractive state for business and workforce growth for years to come.”

DEO’s chief economist, Adrienne Johnston, said Florida saw quick, early gains followed by stepwise economic improvements over the intervening months.

“What I would consider here is that we are seeing steady growth,” Johnston told journalists in a conference call, WUSF reported. “We saw fast gains early on. And now we’re going to continue to see steady increases in employment. So, this is more like the trend was prior to the pandemic. And to me, that’s a healthy sign of a growing economy.”

Currently, the highest areas of joblessness in the Sunshine State was 4.7 percent, the report showed, at The Villages, Sebring, and Homosassa Springs.

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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and the Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.




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