TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that October saw more than half a million new jobs added to the labor market. In Florida, there were 44,300 jobs added in the past month. The unemployment rate in the state was the same as the national, the first time in several months that Florida didn’t outperform the national unemployment rate.
For October 2021, the unemployment rate in the United States was 4.6 percent. In Florida, it was the same, a marked change from the 5 percent national rate of September, and Florida’s 4.8 percent. Tampa’s unemployment rate remains lower than the state, coming in at 3.8 percent in October, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
While the decrease in unemployment rates was a positive sign of continued recovery nationally and across Florida, the number of new jobs available in the state did not increase compared to last month. In Florida, the number of jobs added dropped from 84,500 to 44,300 from September to October 2021.
By comparison U.S. job growth shifted in the opposite direction, growing from 194,000 in September to 531,000 in October across the country.
The shift in available jobs both at the state and national level comes as the BLS reported a record number of people voluntarily leaving their jobs in September, where 4.4 million Americans quit. In August, 4.3 million quit. Reporting by the Associated Press said the number of quits in August was about 3 percent of the national workforce.
A Gallup poll on the so-called Great Resignation found that most people are leaving their jobs over what employees called a lack of engagement at work.
The main three reasons listed from Gallup about the impetus to leave their current jobs came down to:
- Not seeing opportunities for development
- Not feeling connected to the company’s purpose
- Not having strong relationships at work
Still, growth in any measure is good as the nation continues its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic’s uncertainty and hardship. Florida has added 428,600 jobs over the past year.
Despite job gains, economic recovery is still slowed down due to rising fuel costs and increased prices for everyday essentials. Inflation continues to dominate the nation’s list of economic concerns, particularly heading into the holidays. As businesses have started hiring more workers at higher wages, the increased pay is offset by the increased costs for American workers.
The increases themselves may also simply not be enough to keep pace with costs of living that were already on the rise before the pandemic.
Inflation is hitting the market in every sector. The costs of materials for building new homes have slowed down real estate, and the lack of construction is hitting workers on both ends, from lack of housebuilding jobs to lack of money to buy. Homes are more expensive, rental costs are higher and the housing inventory has shrunk.
Despite the uncertainty and continuing inflation, more jobs available means more opportunity for Floridians. October’s job numbers show another month in a long run of continuous job growth in the state.