published: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Highlands unemployment rate falls to 7.8
By BARRY FOSTER
SEBRING - It was a good December for Highlands County, with both citrus harvesting and business staffing for holidays combining for a seven-tenths of a percent drop in the local joblessness rate. Of the 45,691 members of the Highlands County workforce listed by the U.S. Department of Labor only 3,548 were off the job last month giving us a 7.8 percent unemployment rate.
The numbers were nearly 2 percent better than December 2011 when Highlands' unemployment stood at 9.6 percent.
Last month's local figures were better than the seasonally-adjusted 8 percent statewide average and matched the national December unemployment rate.
Some of the residents went back to work through word-of-mouth references, while a number of other aides have been established locally. For instance a Facebook page entitled Highlands County Jobs has been created where users may offer job skills, employers may post job availabilities and many people share anecdotal information about businesses that are looking for people who have skills ranging from waitressing to tile laying.
There's also the Heartland Workforce location on U.S. 27 south of Sebring. The government agency offers opportunities both for businesses and job seekers in Highlands, DeSoto and Hardee counties.
For employers, there are online job postings, online business resources, virtual recruiting tools, recruitment and screening, and training funds available. For job seekers, online resume posting services, career counseling, and job search tools for professionals looking for employment are provided. There also are services specifically for veterans looking for jobs and career training programs.
Nevertheless, the Florida rate was the lowest since November 2008 when it was 7.8 percent. There were 749,000 jobless Floridians out of a labor force of 9,347,000. The December rate was down 0.1 percentage point from the November rate of 8.1 percent and was 1.9 percentage points lower than the year-ago rate of 9.9 percent.
Across the Sunshine State, the industry gaining the most jobs was leisure and hospitality including hotels, restaurants and theme parks.
Other industries gaining jobs included trade, transportation, and utilities, professional and business services, private education, health services and manufacturing. Labor officials said those industry job gains were partially due to increases in food services and drinking places; food and beverage stores; employment services; ambulatory health care services; and transportation equipment manufacturing.
Industries losing jobs over the year included total government jobs, construction, information services and financial activities.
Those industry job losses reportedly were attributed to declines in local government; heavy and civil engineering, construction; automotive repair and maintenance; telecommunications; and insurance carriers and related activities.
not really (by: not that stupid - 1/23/2013)
Everybodys unemployment benifits ended in December, so they are not being counted anymore.
Really? (by: Blindman - 1/22/2013)
Is that a fact?
Unemployment rate (by: Chris - 1/20/2013)
Unemployment rate at 7.8%? That is incredible because it is about 85% in my neighborhood. I am the only one on my street that has a job.
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