Florida Has Recovered 950,000 Jobs Lost Due to the Pandemic


The state of Florida has recovered more than 950,000 jobs that were lost due to the pandemic, according to chief economist and director of research for the Florida Chamber of Commerce (FCC), Dr. Jerry Parrish.

In an online presentation titled “Florida By the Numbers” published by the FCC, Parrish notes that the pandemic resulted in the loss of approximately 1.3 million jobs since April 2020 and that there are still 315,800 jobs to be restored in order to get back to “pre-COVID levels.”

“We still have a few [jobs] to go to get back to the pre-COVID peak of more than 9 million non-farm jobs,” Parrish stated.

Referencing a data tracker provided by the FCC known as the Florida Scorecard, Parrish said that there are 545,200 open jobs in the state, while there are 530,000 unemployed Floridians. He then points out that the unemployment rate “going up just means that more people are getting out to look for jobs, and it isn’t something to be concerned about.”


Since January 2021, Parrish says that the state has seen “steady increases” in job recovery and that it has recovered 264,300 jobs – or 27.8% of the 950,000 total jobs restored. In June and July specifically, Parrish said that the two months had a “recovery of nearly 140,000 jobs.”

June and July having the highest two increases in job recovery could very well be the result of actions brought on by Governor DeSantis and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. In May, a work search order that was previously waived due to the pandemic was reinstated and required unemployment beneficiaries to submit at least five job applications to the DEO per week. Additionally, in June, the state of Florida issued its “Return to Work Initiative” which ended its participation in the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program (FPUC) which provided Floridians $300-a-week on top of the $275-a-week from the state.

When breaking down the current status of each industry’s unrecovered jobs, Parrish points to the Leisure and Hospitality industry that was, and continues to be, the most affected by the pandemic. Of the 315,800 total unrecovered jobs, 194,000 – or 63% – are in Leisure and Hospitality. “As I forecasted back in January… I don’t expect to recover all of those jobs until the first quarter of 2023.”

The second-highest number of unrecovered jobs belongs to the Education and Health Services industry with 30,000; and the third highest belongs to the Trade, Transportation, and Utility industry with 27,000. The one industry that did not experience job loss and has more 7,000 more jobs than before the pandemic was Financial Activities.

While the state as a whole is down 315,800 jobs, divided by county, a graphic provided by Parrish in the presentation shows that 40 counties had more jobs in July 2021 than in February 2020, while only 27 counties have less.

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Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected].








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