Unemployment in the Nation vs. the State
The government's official report on jobs for October is out and the news for the nation looks pretty good. But how does Florida's unemployment rate stand against the national average? And how can one man make the most of the economy's balancing act?
Success stories in a state with a 10.6% unemployment rate can be difficult to find. But Michael Davis has turned the year he was laid off into a year of fun and productivity.
"It feels really good," he says.
But Davis knows just how hard the past few years have been for Florida's economy.
"I can sleep at night now without worrying about losing my job and it's nice. It's a nice thing."
Davis is working-- and so are more Americans. The Labor Department's October checkup on the economy shows it's looking healthier.
University of Florida economist Dave Denslow says "for the nation it's mixed news, and the good news is we had more rapid growth in jobs in the two months before...than we had thought. So that's an indication that a second dip is a little less likely."
Some have had to create their own opportunities, and that's just what Davis has done. He was laid off from Cox Communications last year and has since become a performer and singer, opening his own entertainment company. He now performs at retirement communities like the Atrium or kareoke bars around town. He says it's more fulfilling than anything else he's ever done."
As a nation, the U.S added about 80,000 jobs in October with an unemployment rate that dipped from 9.1% to 9%. Where is Florida in all of that?
Florida's September unemployment rate was still at 10.6%. Denslow compares the economy's progress to a long distance race carrying rocks, and the layoff rate isn't helping.
“They’re not as high as they were say a year ago," he says. "They’re coming down a little bit and that’s not entirely a good sign, unfortunately. I wish I could say that that’s really great news, that the layoff rate is going down but part of the reason it’s going down is so many people have been unemployed for so long."
Florida's unemployment numbers for October will be released sometime later in the month.
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