published: Sunday, August 21, 2011
County's unemployment rate jumps to 12.3%
By ED BALDRIDGE
SEBRING -- The unemployment rate for Highlands County rose to 12.3 percent in July according to the State of Florida's Agency for Workforce Innovation.
The recent number is an increase of .7 percent from the 11.6 percent posted in June.
The new numbers edges Highlands into the 12th spot in unemployment throughout the state, slightly behind Miami-Dade County at 12.5 percent.
Regionally, Highlands' unemployment is higher than Hardee (12.2 percent) and DeSoto (11.6) counties.
The state recorded an 11.0 percent unemployment rate, which is not seasonally adjusted, and the U.S. remained steady at 9.3 percent, the same as last month.
Other statistics released by the Workforce Agency shows that foreclosures in Highlands County dropped slightly from 64 in June to 63 in July and the overall population for the county shed almost 1,000 employees as job seekers left the area for greener pastures.
The unemployment rate in the Heartland Workforce region, which includes DeSoto, Hardee, and Highlands counties, was 12.1 percent in July, a decrease of 0.9 percentage points from the region's year ago rate.
The Heartland Workforce region lost 2,394 jobs over the year, according to number released Friday from Heartland's Workforce Director and CEO Roger Hood.
The greatest job losses in the region were posted by natural resources and mining, which lost 1,980 jobs.
Construction in the region continues to decline and posted a 24-job loss, while education and health services showed a job loss of 236 for the month.
Two of the region''s industry sectors posted positive growth. The information industry increased 3.7 percent and government jobs grew 3.5 percent over the previous months, Hood said.
Small Banner Ads