This Week's Poll


Lafayette County — State’s lowest unemployment rate
Florida’s Workforce is Increasing as state reopens

Staff Reports

The May rates were released last Friday, and Lafayette County was at the top of the list for the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 5.7 percent.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced Florida businesses gained 185,700 private sector jobs over the month and Florida’s labor force climbed 2.5 percent over the month, which suggests that Floridians are confident and searching for work. The unemployment rate for May 2020 was 14.5 percent.

This month, Florida saw considerable changes in employment data due to COVID-19. Governor DeSantis has been proactive in safely reopening the state to protect Floridians while restarting Florida’s economy and opening businesses. Statistics show Floridians are beginning to search for work and businesses are creating jobs.

Local Area Unemployment Statistics (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

•    In May 2020, Lafayette County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate (5.7 percent), followed by Liberty County (6.2 percent), Union County (7.0 percent), and DeSoto County and Gilchrist County (7.1 percent each).

•    Osceola County had the highest unemployment rate (31.1 percent) in Florida in May 2020, followed by Orange County (23.2 percent), Lake County (20.6 percent), and Polk County (19.1 percent).

Florida Economic Indicators for May 2020 include:

•    Labor force was up 237,000 or 2.5 percent, over the month.

•    Florida businesses gained 185,700 private-sector jobs over the month.

•    Consumer Sentiment Index is 76.4 in May 2020, 0.1 point higher than the April revised figure of 76.3.

•    Florida private-sector jobs were down 834,900 over the year.

•    Florida’s private-sector job creation over-the-year rate of decline of 10.7 percent was less than the national over-the-year decline of 12.7 percent.    

Unemployment rate was 14.5 percent.

Florida’s seasonally adjusted total nonagricultural employment was 8,076,400 in May 2020, an increase of 182,900 jobs (+2.3 percent) over the month. The state lost 850,400 jobs over the year, a decrease of 9.5 percent.  Nationally, the number of jobs fell 11.7 percent over the year.  

Florida’s labor statistics changed significantly in May as many businesses began to reopen or increase their available services following closures due to COVID-19 in March and April.

Source:  U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics Program, in cooperation with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Bureau of Workforce Statistics and Economic Research.

Florida’s Nonagricultural Employment by Industry (Seasonally Adjusted)

•    The number of jobs in Florida was 8,076,400 in May 2020, down 850,400 jobs compared to a year ago. The industry gaining jobs over the year was construction (+4,900 jobs, +0.9 percent).   

•    The industry losing the most jobs over the year was leisure and hospitality (-460,500 jobs, -36.8 percent).

Other industries losing jobs over the year included trade, transportation, and utilities (-123,800 jobs, -6.9 percent); professional and business services (-104,500 jobs, -7.5 percent); education and health services           (-73,300 jobs, -5.5 percent); other services (-34,100 jobs, -9.6 percent); financial activities (-16,100 jobs, - 2.7 percent); government (-15,500 jobs, -1.4 percent); manufacturing (-15,200 jobs, -4.0 percent); and information (-11,300 jobs, -8.1 percent).

Area Nonagricultural Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

•    In May 2020, all 24 metro areas in Florida had over-the-year job losses.  The areas with the largest losses were Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (-217,000 jobs, -16.4 percent), Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall (-122,800 jobs, -10.1 percent), and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (-102,400 jobs, -7.4 percent).

The mission of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is to promote economic prosperity for all Floridians and businesses through successful workforce, community, and economic development strategies.  Please visit for more information.