Orlando-area job growth stands out in DEO unemployment report

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida’s unemployment rate dropped slightly in September, according to a report released by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Friday.

According to the report, 84,500 more Floridians found work last month, dropping the unemployment rate of 5.0 percent in August to 4.9 percent for September.

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State officials said Friday the job growth in the Orlando area, despite the pandemic, has been notable. In September, the unemployment rate was 4.5 percent. In September of 2020, it was at 8.7 percent.

The numbers were released a day after DeSantis called for a special legislative session to stop COVID-19 vaccine mandates from the White house.

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DEO Secretary Dane Eagle said, while numbers out for September 2021 don’t include any changes on vaccine mandates, there’s still speculation on what they believe might happen.

“The unemployment number goes up because those people are now in that unemployment field where they don’t have jobs connected to them, or they’re discouraged completely and leave the workforce altogether,” Eagle said. “Either case is not healthy for the economy. It’s not healthy for individuals.”

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According to the DEO, the number of workers quitting their jobs is up from the same time last year, but said while those people may be quitting, they’re also still looking for work.

While Governor DeSantis said Friday Florida’s job growth was leading the country, the state unemployment rate remains slightly higher than the current national rate of 4.8 percent.

See the full DEO report below:

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