Florida unemployment hits record high 12.2 percent, worse in Tampa Bay

03/26/10 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday | Listen to this entire show:

Florida’s unemployment rate is the highest it’s ever been. The Agency for Workforce Innovation’s chief economist Rebecca Rust announced today the state’s unemployment rate was 12.2 percent in February.

Rust says this unemployment rate breaks the record for the highest since 1970 when records began being kept.

Unemployment is even higher in the Tampa Bay area. It’s 12.6 percent in Pinellas County and 12.7 percent in Hillsborough. The county with the second-highest unemployment rate in the state is Hernando at 15.6 percent.

Several Democrats running for higher office took the opportunity of today’s unemployment figures to say they would be able to do a better job than the current Republican leadership. U.S. Representative Kendrick Meek, who is running for U.S. Senate wrote, “The status quo is not working for Floridians.” Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who is running for Governor, suggested the state’s economy would improve under her “business plan for Florida.”

The Agency for Workforce Innovation’s Rust says the statewide unemployment rate jumps to over 20 percent when people who are underemployed are taken in to account.

Florida’s lowest unemployment rate, 3.3 percent, was only four years ago, from February to May of 2006.

comments powered by Disqus



Even with the rate at over 12%, the clowns in Washington still don't want to approve a tier v for those that have run out of benefits. Believe me Floridians don't want unemployment but instead steady jobs. But if things don't get better soon the crime rate is gonna get higher because people aren't going to let their families starve or be without utilities....

Should goverment tax unemployment

Sandy Levin, Ways and Means Committee New Chairman (aka Mr. Tax Fairness) How To Help the Unemployed Now! Government Stop Taxing Unemployment Benefits! So does it make any sense in 2010 to keep the tax man's hammer down on the unemployed? Did the government not give the banks a break who created this economic mess in the first place? Did the government's bail out money not provide profit, survival and fat bonuses for the Wall Street crews? Does the government not plan tax breaks for small business who reinvest in plant, equipment and rehires? Did the government not give big auto a Cash for Clunkers program to boost sales along with financial restructure for GM? Is there not a 8,000 dollar tax credit for first time home buyers who are fortunate to have jobs? So why is there no mention of 100% tax free unemployment compensation for the down trodden, displace and forgotten, we the unemployed. Is it because we the unemployed have no voice? At the Unemployment Gone Mad community http://unemployment-gone-mad.com we are seeking to change this injustice with a new tax reform bill and one voice. The bill is called the "Jobless STUB Retro 2009 U/B Tax Free Act"? STUB, is like the paycheck stub we no longer have and stands for STOP TAXING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. The new legislative bill needs Sandy Levin, Ways and Means Committee New Chairman to step up and committee members to climb on board. This bill will make all unemployment collected in 2009 totally tax free not just the current law exemption of a ridiculous $2400 (about 6 checks). The Gone Mad opinion is 2009 life lines deserve tax free status during the 2009 new depression blues year. We feel this travesty of paying taxes on unemployment benefits when there are 5.8 million long term unemployed is truly deplorable and an issue worthy of action. Also, remember a record 20 million collected some unemployment in 2009. From the entire Unemployment Gone MAD community, Sandy Levin you can do it.

Time for change

It is a sad day, when our elected officials do not do there jobs. I wonder if they have any idea what it is like to live off of unemployment, I am fed up with all of them. They do not care what happens to us, my last check will be here Thursday. There are NO jobs in Osceola County, our unemployment rate is almost 15%, we have lost everything in almost 2 years that we worked for, what little we have left will have to be sold to pay May's rent, yes we both lost our jobs the same month back in 2008 and we were employed with the housing and auto business. Those in congress and the senate better wake up, I fill that things are going to go really bad when more folks fall off of unemployment. What really gets me is that our news stations do not talk about any of this and they talk about 162k new jobs that were reported for March, where were they, has anyone looked at the want ads, there is nothing there, and the ads online are mostly scams. The only thing our politicians care about is health reform, which should have been put on the back burner, they need to worry about jobs, when us unemployed do not have any money to buy gas, groceries, pay electric, phone etc... there are going to be more jobs lost, we were the middle class, we were the working ant that kept things going for the poor and the rich. What is going to happen!!