Florida’s unemployment rate continues to rise despite increase in jobs

Reporter: Sara Girard
Published: Updated:

Florida’s unemployment rate grew overall in July and every county in our area felt the effects. But at the same time, we saw jobs grow.

As we’re closing in on the end of August, July numbers can feel a little out of date. But if we look at the July unemployment rate, 11.3%, we can see it grew a point higher from June.

People in Southwest Florida say that doesn’t surprise them.

“I see every day, people talking about applying and applying. And you know there just aren’t any jobs down here right now,” said Bonnie Armstrong.

She has unemployment on her mind all the time and just wants to get back to her serving job in Naples.

“I anticipated I’d be back to work by now. So now without that additional money, I’m really just bare-bones,” she said.

Despite employment growing by nearly 78,000 jobs, the unemployment rate kicked up too.

“So that shows you that employment increased on the household side to meet those business needs, we may have had people coming back into the labor force and not immediately have a job. And that could be why unemployment also increased,” said Adrienne Johnston.

And remember, in July, theme parks opened up and bars closed. So what about now, when unique unemployment claims are about to reach three million people since March?

“What we have seen recently in the past month actually seeing a decline overall in initial claims and continued claims,” Johnston said.

So some people are going back to work, while others are left waiting.

“I just know that the one time that I’ve ever needed the government for something, this is the time,” Armstrong said.

She and millions of other people across the state are in a tight spot with no end in sight.

“The evection moratorium ends again at the end of the month, or the beginning of September, and so there’s going to be a lot of people aren’t going to have a place to live if they don’t get some relief,” she said.

Jobs did grow in the leisure and hospitality industry — one of the hardest hit in Southwest Florida. The stat says of the nearly 1.2 million jobs lost between February and April, we’ve gained back about half.

Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 11.3% in July 2020, up 1.0 percentage point from the revised June 2020 rate, and up 8.2 percentage points from a year ago. There were 1,125,000 jobless Floridians out of a labor force of 9,975,000. The U.S. unemployment rate was 10.2% in July.

Florida’s seasonally adjusted total nonagricultural employment was 8,465,700 in July 2020, an increase of 77,900 jobs (+0.9 percent) over the month.


LOCAL (all June numbers were adjusted)

  • CHARLOTTE – 10% (9.1% in June)
  • COLLIER – 10.4% (9.4% in June)
  • LEE – 10.7% (9.6% in June)
  • HENDRY – 13% (10.6% in June)
  • GLADES – 8.5% (7.1% in June)
  • DESOTO – 6.7% (5.9% in June)

Cape Coral-Fort Myers MSA has the seventh-highest unemployment in the state at 10.7%


  • 11.3% in July
  • 10.3% in June (revised from 10.4%)

Nearly two million eligible claims have been processed since March 15. The DEO says 99.8-99.9% of all benefits requested through July 31 have been paid to claimants.

For more unemployment data and information, head over to the DEO’s unemployment claims dashboard.

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