May 2022’s slight increase, mixed signals have locals questioning economy
Despite more than 500 locals finding jobs last month, Flagler County’s unemployment rate increased, as May 2022’s 2.8% rate was 0.2% higher than April 2022’s very low 2.6%, according to the latest data release from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
“What concerns local business leaders is the increasing gas prices, growing inflation, higher interest rates, workforce and supply chain issues,” said Greg Blosé, President & CEO of the Palm Coast-Flagler Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Nationally, the economic news is terrible. Yet, here in Florida, business activity is still strong. So, the question is: If a recession is coming or already here, how much will it impact Florida? Certainly, Florida appears better prepared to handle an economic downturn than many other U.S. states.”
Despite the concerning overall economic climate, the number of Flagler County residents that are employed (either working in this county or another county) increased from 47,835 workers in April 2022 to 48,365 workers in May 2022, an increase of 530.
The number of unemployed job-seeking residents in Flagler County also grew from 1,282 in April 2022 to 1,368 in May 2022, an increase of 86 residents.
The Flagler County labor force continues to grow and now approaches 50,000 residents, checking in with 49,733 in May 2022.
Blose continued, “Despite more than 500 locals finding work in May 2022, the Chamber must caution the community on the growing economic headwinds, not the least of which is the Federal Reserve’s recent 75 basis points increase on interest rates. We must also remember today’s data release from the State is a lagging indicator, meaning although the data is released today, it’s approximately one month old.”