JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida’s unemployment rate dropped to 10.4% in June from the previous month’s 13.7% rate as the state’s theme parks, beaches and other tourism-related businesses started reopening after weeks of coronavirus-related lockdowns, the Florida Department of Economic Opptorunity reported Friday.
But the state’s economic future remains clouded by recent spikes in Florida’s COVID-19 caseload, as evidenced by this week’s data that show jobless claims almost doubled last week from the previous week, economists said.
Additionally, a host of large hotels have said that they are turning temporary furloughs from March into permanent layoffs at the end of July.
“Many businesses, particularly in South Florida, are facing a reduced demand and a lot of uncertainty due to the new surge in Covid-19 cases," said Hector Sandoval, an economist at the University of Florida. “There are several companies in the accommodation and food services industry still announcing layoffs."
Data from FDEO shows the jobless situation in Northeast Florida is not as dire as in South Florida. The Jacksonville Metropolitan Statistical Area unemployment rate for June was 8.0%, down from 10.4% last month. (See full county-by-county unemployment rates below.)
Year-over-year, the hospitality industry has lost about 1 in 5 jobs in Florida, or 268,400 positions, the hardest-hit industry in the state.
Florida gained 296,000 jobs from June to May.
In June, there were more than 1 million jobless Floridians out of a labor force of 9.7 million workers.
The only industry gaining jobs over the year was construction with an additional 4,600 positions added.