Tampa Bay’s unemployment rate highest on record, new report says

Florida Unemployment

FILE – In this Friday, April 17, 2020 file photo, Hillborough County Library service worker Stephen Duran passes out reemployment forms to a motorist at the Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library in Tampa, Fla. Federal data shows that Florida has processed its hundreds of thousands of new unemployment claims more slowly than any other state. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, File)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Unemployment in Tampa Bay has hit a record high as business owners and employees begin returning back to work.

The latest in a series of reports produced by the Tampa Bay Partnership, along with reemployment data, found that the local economy is suffering in a way its workforce has never seen before.

Last month, the Tampa Bay community saw slightly higher levels of unemployment than the state as a whole.

Unemployment in the Tampa Bay area reached 13.34 percent last month. The lowest county-wide rate was 12.04 percent in Hillsborough County. The highest was 15.76 percent in Citrus County. 

Although Hillsborough had the lowest unemployment rate across the area, more than 82,000 of its residents are unemployed. That’s 29 percent of all unemployed workers in Tampa Bay.

Florida’s total unemployment rate is 13.33 percent. The state’s rate is also lower than the Orlando metro area, which has an unemployment rate of 16.21.

Unemployment claims have been pouring into the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity website. About 245,000 local residents have filed claims for unemployment.

Across the country, 43 states have seen record unemployment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nationally, the unemployment rate skyrocketed to 14.7 percent last month, compared to March’s 4.4 percent unemployment.


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