TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida continues to outpace the nation in job growth, adding 41,500 jobs in October.
The unemployment rate also dropped two-tenths of a percent and 29,000 Floridians rejoined the workforce.
The numbers paint an optimistic picture for Florida’s economic recovery.
Florida makes up about 6.5% of the nation’s population.
In October, the jobs added in the Sunshine State made up nearly 8% of the total job gains nationwide.
“We’re seeing labor force growing. We’re seeing the unemployment rate declining, and we’re adding jobs to payrolls at the same time,” said Adrienne Johnston, Chief Economist at the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
September’s numbers were even better.
Four of every 10 U.S. jobs added that month were in Florida.
“For the month of September, Florida added over 84,000 new jobs,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis in a video released late last month.
In October, the leisure and hospitality sector saw the most growth, adding 16,600 jobs, but the industry is still 27% below pre-pandemic employment levels.
“We need a lot more, so we’re ready for folks that have been in our industry to come back,” said Geoff Luebkemann with the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.
State economists project the state’s economy will only continue to improve, especially with the new state law limiting employee vaccine mandates.
“What we saw was a positive move,” said Johnston.
The Restaurant and Lodging Association said it’s too soon to tell how the new law will impact the industry.
“I tend to think that one of the drags on getting people back in to work in hospitality and tourism doesn’t have anything to do with vaccines, it has more to do with lifestyle factors. Child care and things. Kind of externalities,” said Luebkemann.
And the governor directly attributed job growth to the state’s pandemic policies.
“Our state’s economy is growing faster than the nation because we keep our businesses open and push back against heavy-handed mandates,” the governor tweeted Friday.
Florida’s unemployment rate of 4.6% in October was on par with the national average for the month, which was also reported at 4.6%.