TALLAHASSEE – One out of every four jobs added in the United States in November were in Florida, according to numbers released by the state Friday.
The United States added 210,000 jobs in November. Florida alone added 51,100.
That means a state that comprises just 6% of the US population, made up nearly 25% of all job gains.
Gov. Ron DeSantis was quick to tout the news.
“We’re a massive country. Over 330 million people. Two hundred thousand jobs, you know, that’s not a lot for the whole country, and of that, for Florida to be over 50,000, you know, it just shows that the policies matter,” DeSantis said in a press conference Friday morning.
State economists report the problem in Florida continues to be a lack of workers, not job openings.
“We’re really starting to see a large number of job openings and employers are saying it’s difficult to find folks to fill those jobs,” said Department of Economic Opportunity Chief Economist Adrienne Johnston.
The state’s job market is more than 90% recovered from pre-pandemic levels, but economists are optimistic a full recovery isn’t far off.
“At the current pace, we expect to see us reach those peak employment levels very soon,” said Johnston.
While some sectors like leisure and hospitality still have a long way to go to reach pre-pandemic employment levels, others like trade and transportation, construction, finance and professional and business services have already exceeded pre-pandemic job numbers.
“That shows a little bit of a shift in the economy a little bit more broadly kind of when you step back and look at it,” said Johnston.
Even though the state’s unemployment rate dropped by a tenth of a percent down to 4.5%, it is slightly higher than the national average of 4.2%.
Currently, there are 483,000 Floridians classified as unemployed.
And with a wither surge from the Omicron variant looming on the horizon, the governor doubled down Friday on his commitment to protect Floridians’ jobs by shielding them from heavy handed mandates.