FLORIDA — Florida's unemployment rate rose 0.3 percent in September, the state reported Friday, bringing the rate to 7.6 percent on the eve of an election where the economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis is playing a prominent role.
What You Need To Know
- Florida unemployment rate increased 0.3 percent in September
- The current unemployment rate for the state is 7.6 percent
- Related: U.S. Jobless Claims Rise To 898,000, Highest Level Since August
The unemployment rate had approached 14 percent at the height of last spring's outbreak, with 2.5 million Floridians applying for unemployment benefits between March and June. As companies began rehiring in the late spring and early summer, the rate shot down, declining four percentage points between July and August.
But Friday's data is an indication the recovery could be stalling at a time when unemployment remains stubbornly high by historical standards. More than three-quarters of a million Floridians are currently out of work.
Republican political strategists had been hoping to see a further decline in the unemployment rate announced Friday, the last time the state will release employment data before the Nov. 7 presidential election. The outcome of the contest in swing-state Florida could determine the next occupant of the White House.
Democrats, meanwhile, are certain to point to the data as evidence that until the virus is more aggressively controlled, a robust economic resurgence is out of the question.
Speaking with reporters Friday, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity's chief labor economist took a more nuanced view.
"I do want to caution about reading too much into changes over the month like that in terms of the rankings. It's better to, kind of, give some time and look and see if that trend sticks around for a while," said Adrienne Johnston, the head of DEO's Workforce Statistics and Economic Research Bureau.