The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced the Fort Myers area added 4,300 new private-sector jobs in the past year. The area’s unemployment rate was 3.1% in January, down 0.7 percentage point from one year ago. The Naples area added 700 new private-sector jobs in the past year. The area’s unemployment rate was 3% in January, down 0.5 percentage point from one year ago.
The industry with the highest growth over the year in the Fort Myers area was professional and business services with 2,100 new jobs. The industries with the highest growth over the year in the Naples area were construction with 800 new jobs and professional and business services with 700 new jobs.
Statewide, Florida businesses created 31,500 new private-sector jobs in January 2020. Florida’s annual private-sector job growth rate of 2.1% continues to exceed the nation’s rate of 1.5%. Florida’s unemployment rate of 2.8% represents a drop of 0.6 percentage point over the year. This is while 179,000 people entered Florida’s labor force, a growth of 1.7% in the past year.
The state of Florida is working to maintain the business friendly climate our state is known for. Florida is closely monitoring COVID-19 and the impacts it could have on businesses that make Florida their home. The state is working with federal and state partners to ensure the safety and well-being of all Floridians, while ensuring businesses are supported. On March 15, Gov. Ron DeSantis sent a letter to the federal Small Business Administration (SBA) requesting to make the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program available for Florida’s small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
“While our partners across the state work intensely to stop the spread of COVID-19, our agency is assessing the resources Florida’s impacted communities and businesses may need,” said Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Ken Lawson.
Last week, DeSantis announced the activation of the Business Damage Assessment survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s local business operations. The survey, managed by the DEO, evaluates businesses affected by COVID-19 and the impacts the virus has had on the local economy. The Business Damage Assessment Survey can be taken online at FloridaDisater.biz.
Other positive economic indicators include:
· Private-sector industries gaining the most jobs over-the-year were:
· Education and health services with 34,900 new jobs;
· Leisure and hospitality with 29,700 new jobs;
· Trade, transportation and utilities with 27,800 new jobs; and
· Construction with 21,500 new jobs.
· Consumer Sentiment Index is 99.4 in January 2020.