Okaloosa’s jobless rate stays flat for July

Published: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at 05:54 PM.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s July unemployment report, released Friday, shows the state’s unemployment rate is 7.1 percent for the third month in a row. Likewise, jobless rates in Walton, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties stayed flat from their June figures.

Jesse Panuccio, the Department of Economic Opportunity’s executive director, said the unemployment rate staying flat for the last three months is no cause for concern. He said Florida added 34,000 private-sector jobs in July. One thing affecting the jobless rate is that more people are re-entering the workforce as the economy shows signs of improvement.

Although Walton County’s July unemployment rate of 4.2 percent was unchanged from June, it tied with Monroe County for the lowest jobless rate in the state. Okaloosa County had the next-lowest unemployment rate at 5.1 percent.

The national unemployment rate dropped from 7.6 percent in June to 7.4 percent in July, but local economist David Goetsch said the true jobless rate is much higher than that. The U6 unemployment rate for July, which includes people who have stopped seeking work and part-time employees wanting to work full time, is at 14 percent, according to Macrotrends.

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