December jobless numbers mixed in Northwest Florida

Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 09:51 AM.

Walton County’s unemployment rate increased to 5.7 percent in December, which still was the second lowest rate in the state behind Monroe County at 4.5 percent. Walton County’s unemployment rate was 5.5 percent in November.

Santa Rosa County’s jobless rate increased from 7.1 percent in November to 7.2 percent in December. It tied with Nassau and Hardee counties for the 19th lowest in the state.

“You’re going to see this through 2014,” said local economist David Goetsch. “You’re not going to see major changes. We’re going to see this tepid — a little bit up, little bit back — kind of unpredictable (changes), but you’re not going to see any big numbers. The economy is improving, but it just isn’t improving strong enough to show any major numbers.”

Although Goetsch expects the numbers to stay fairly consistent in the coming months, there are factors that could change that. On Thursday, the Secretary of the Air Force implemented a civilian hiring freeze, which will affect Okaloosa more than most other counties in the state.

Contact Daily News Business Editor Dusty Ricketts at 850-315-4448 or Follow him on Twitter @DustyRnwfdn.


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