TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Florida’s job market remains strong despite the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian. Additionally, according to a VISIT FLORIDA estimate, the Sunshine State welcomed 35.1 million visitors between July and September 2022 – a 6.9 percent increase from Q3 last year.
STRONG JOB GROWTH
For the 30th consecutive month, Florida continued to create new jobs while the national labor force shrank. Florida’s labor force grew by 36,000 and Florida’s private sector added 35,000 jobs, according to the October 2022 economic data report.
Florida’s private sector employment grew by 5.6 percent over the year in October 2022 (+447,800 jobs) – faster than the national growth rate of 4.0 percent. The labor force in the state grew by 36,000 even as the state dealt with the widespread impacts of Hurricane Ian.
Although the unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percent in the latest report, the 2.7 percent unemployment rate is still historically low – an entire point below the nation’s 3.7 percent mark. In addition, data reveals that much of the increase is due to unemployment in Southwest Florida following Hurricane Ian.
The Fort Myers area has an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent for the month, up only 0.5 points. Despite the impact of a major Category 4 hurricane, Florida’s economy remains resilient. Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and CareerSource Florida continue to assist those impacted by the storm.
“Florida’s economic resiliency is unmatched in the country – no other state could withstand the direct impact of a Category 4 hurricane and continue to grow jobs in the same month,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “We have made record investments in our infrastructure and workforce while building a record budget surplus and providing record tax reduction for Floridians.”
Economic data indicates many job opportunities for Floridians throughout the state, with more than 476,000 jobs posted online. Floridians searching for work and new job opportunities are encouraged to turn to the CareerSource Florida network for help. Floridians can find guidance on how to register with Employ Florida and search listings of available local job openings.
“More Floridians enter the workforce each month because they are confident in the opportunities available to them under Governor DeSantis’ consistent leadership,” said DEO Secretary Dane Eagle. “DEO is proud to support the Governor’s mission through workforce education and development opportunities that help Floridians realize their potential and support our state’s major industries.”
In addition to job growth, a record number of visitors have contributed to Florida’s strong economy. Florida welcomed 32.6 million domestic visitors in Q3 2022. So far this year, Florida has welcomed 104.5 million travelers, an increase of 4.1 percent from the same period in 2019 and over 15.3 percent more than in 2021.
Shortly after Hurricane Ian caused significant damage in parts of the state, VISIT FLORIDA launched a $2.7 million campaign to inform travelers that the “Sun is Shining in Florida.”
“Our freedom-first policies continue to bring visitors to Florida from across the country and around the world,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “This increase in tourism will support our entire economy, especially small businesses that have been built from the ground up by hardworking Floridians.”
“We are thrilled to cap off more outstanding growth for Florida’s tourism industry in the third quarter of 2022,” said Dana Young, VISIT FLORIDA President, and CEO. “Even as more destinations have become available, Florida has firmly maintained the top spot on every traveler’s list. Looking ahead, VISIT FLORIDA is wholly focused on continuing the momentum we have created and further reinforcing that we are the No. 1 vacation destination in the world.”