“We get oddly a lot of applications”: Unemployment and labor force rates rise across NCFL

"We get oddly a lot of applications": Unemployment and labor force rates rise across NCFL
Published: Mar. 14, 2022 at 10:54 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -The labor force grew in nearly every county across North Central Florida.

“We’re always open door and let people come into apply,” said General Manager of Oak Restaurant and Bar, Colin Hanes.

The number of jobs filled broke a state record according to the latest data from the state department of economic opportunity in January. The department reported more than nine million jobs state-wide.

“It’s definitely tricky when you have so many great people that are always enthusiastic to come and work for you,” said Hanes. “The one thing that we really look for is just you know, the face to face interaction. The connectivity, who’s here for the right reasons, you know, serves a purpose to make our team better.”

Jobs in the hospitality in service industry increased nearly 17.5% over the year. The industry which includes many jobs in Downtown Gainesville added nearly 180,000 new jobs. Although, finding people to fill those open roles is a struggle at another for the manager at The Hyppo in Downtown Gainesville.

RELATED STORY: One out of four new jobs nationwide were added in Florida

“Although, we get oddly a lot of applications,” said Manager, Drue Jaquish. “We can’t hire all these people.”

While the labor force increased in counties like Alachua, Bradford, GIlchrist and Putnam; so did the unemployment rate across all counties. Jaquish said the timing has to be right to fill their open roles.

“And then when I do go back to hire, like right now, I’m trying to prep for summer. I have absolutely no one. So its like because all of the college kids re leaving or like they don’t want summer jobs. So it definitely is quite interesting trying to hire and like, especially for winter break. And especially in summer, again, it’s just busy. Even though all of the college students are gone,” mentioned Jaquish.

“All of the families in Alachua county are like coming. They’re like coming out of the woodworks, they’re like yay all the students are gone and I can actually come and enjoy downtown.”

Unemployment numbers for February come out next Friday— the 25th.

Read the latest report from the Department of Economic Opportunity here.

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