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DEO releases July Labor stats that show unemployment rate, labor force increasing at same time

Posted at 5:52 PM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 18:26:32-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — In its monthly virtual update, the DEO’s Chief Economist Adrienne Johnston said businesses are eager to hire and more people are looking for work. It released its July labor stats.

“We know that we have exceeded the pre-2020 level of labor force, which means there are actually more potential workers and current workers out there in the labor market,” she said.

Even as the unemployment rate jumped by .1% from June to July.

Johnston said when the unemployment rate rises at the same time as the labor force, it’s usually a sign of optimism. But, employment numbers reported last month still haven’t reached pre-pandemic levels and Johnston said for the last five months, there’s been a record setting demand for employees.

“Every job, category, class, industry, sector is experiencing some sort of tension in the market,” said Johnston.

On June 26, Florida pulled away from the $300 weekly federal benefit. Governor Ron DeSantis touted that decision and said he thought it would force the unemployed back to work. But has it been effective?

From June to July, the number of jobs filled in Florida increased by about .8% but the DEO said that could have been caused by many factors and can't say it was for sure because of the extra federal payments ending.

“People are confident, employers are hiring, individuals are finding jobs. We’re seeing more people employed in July than in June, so that’s all very positive,” she said. “But we don’t have any direct questions that we ask that link to the unemployment insurance benefits.”

And, according to a study done by Homebase, a payroll and time management firm, business in states that didn’t cut the federal unemployment payments early hired more staff this year and are, “now on-par with businesses in states that lifted benefits early."

Next month's data, which will be for August, should tell us if the surge of COVID-19 cases is having any impact on job growth and job opportunities.