The Republican-led state of Florida hit its 30th consecutive month of job growth in October as the national labor force shrank, according to the state’s October 2022 economic data report.
“Over the month, Florida’s labor force grew by 36,000, while the national labor force shrank, and Florida’s private sector employment growth was double the national growth rate,” a press release from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ office said. “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.”
“Florida’s unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percentage points to 2.7 percent, which is still historically low, and remains a full point below the nation’s 3.7 percent mark,” the press release added. “Much of the increase in the unemployment rate is due to increased unemployment in Southwest Florida following Hurricane Ian. The unemployment rate in the Fort Myers area was 3.9 percent during the month, up 0.5 points. Still, this slight increase in unemployment in Florida shows that despite the impacts of a Category 4 storm, Floridians and Florida’s economy remain resilient.”
“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,” DeSantis said. “We have made record investments in our infrastructure and workforce while building a record budget surplus and providing record tax reduction for Floridians.”
The news follows a national trend of the economies of red states – those that lean Republican – outperforming blue states – those that lean Democrat. As noted by an analysis from The Wall Street Journal, “Since February 2020, the month before the pandemic began, the share of all U.S. jobs located in red states has grown by more than half a percentage point, according to an analysis of Labor Department data by the Brookings Institution think tank. Red states have added 341,000 jobs over that time, while blue states were still short 1.3 million jobs as of May.”