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Florida’s Unemployment Rate Hits An All Time Low Since Nov. 2008

Updated : October 28th, 2022

Florida’s fiscal recovery continued to overtake the national average in December last year, even though there was some variation in the local numbers.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity released its December employment report on 18 of January this year. Florida’s statewide jobless rate decreased to 8%, its lowest level since November 2008, and was closing in on the national jobless rate of 7.8%.

In the previous year, Florida’s unemployment rate has fallen 1.9% while the national rate has dropped 0.7%.

“Florida continues experiencing growth in a number of economic indicators, including increases in housing starts, median home prices, online job ads, job placements and migration into the state,” Rebecca Rust, chief economist for the Department of Economic Opportunity, said in an email. “Florida’s long-term trends show a steady and modest economic recovery. Florida’s unemployment rate has shown significant improvement, declining from the recession high of 11.4% to the current 8%.”

Okaloosa County’s jobless rate dipped in December. However, Walton and Santa Rosa counties increased a little.

Okaloosa’s jobless rate dropped from 5.9% in November 2012, to 5.8% in December.  It had the third lowest unemployment rate in Florida for December.

Walton County’s unemployment rate increased to 5.7% in December last year, which still was the second lowest rate in the state behind Monroe County at 4.5%. Walton County’s unemployment rate was 5.5% in November.

Santa Rosa County’s jobless rate rose from 7.1% in November to 7.2% in December in 2012. It tied with Nassau and Hardee counties for the 19th lowest in the state.

“You’re going to see this through 2014,” said local economist David Goetsch. “You’re not going to see major changes. We’re going to see this tepid — a little bit up, little bit back — kind of unpredictable (changes), but you’re not going to see any big numbers. The economy is improving, but it just isn’t improving strong enough to show any major numbers.”

Although Goetsch anticipates the numbers to stay fairly steady in the coming months, there are issues that could change that. The Secretary of the Air Force implemented a civilian hiring freeze, which will affect Okaloosa more than most other counties in the state.

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  1. Hello,

    I applied for unemployment benefits for the first time ever after being let go in July 2022. I applied and filled all the forms online, but was told my claim has to go through California unemployment because I resided there last year. I still have not received a penny in unemployment to date (January 2nd, 2023). I have tried calling customer service many times but was not able to get through to speak with a human in either CA or FL. What should I do at this point to make sure I get my benefits? I was being patient but It’s been too long at this point.

  2. During covid, I lost my job, I applied for benefits every week, went for job interviews, it stated it was approved , I did everything I was supposed to do and I never got 1 dime of money. Is there any way to still get what is owed to me? I lived off credit cards because I never got my money and I am having a hard time paying those cards back. How can I find out why or if I can still get it?

    • Hi, John – you’ll need to check in with Florida’s unemployment office since you have specific questions about your claim. There are a couple of ways you can do so. If you submitted your unemployment claim online, you can check the status of your claim at You’ll need to log in using your claimant ID and PIN. On your claimant home page, you should see your claim status. If you see your status and you don’t understand it, you disagree with it, you don’t see it or you aren’t able to access the Internet, you also can call the Florida Reemployment Assistance Customer Service Center at 1-833-352-7759.

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