Florida Unemployment Rates 14.5%, Orlando-Area Leads State


ORLANDO, Fla. – The unemployment rate in Florida continues to rise amid the coronavirus pandemic, with Central Florida being hit hardest economically.

What you need to know

  • May unemployment rate at 14.5%
  • Central Florida lost 56,300 jobs in May
  • Osceola, Orange and Lake are the top 3 provinces for unemployment rates
  • THE FLORIDA UNEMPLOYED SYSTEM: Your questions answered

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced on Friday that the state’s unemployment rate rose to 14.5 percent in May 2020.

That is an increase of 0.7 percent from April 2020, which was 13.8 percent.

It should be noted that the April unemployment rate was revised from 12.9 percent to 13.8 percent, as a result of a survey calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, DEO said.

As companies across the state begin to reopen, several regions are seeing workers return to their jobs, except Central Florida, where DEO says the region continues to see job losses.

Adrienne Johnston, head of DEO’s Bureau of Labor Market Statistics, said Central Florida lost an estimated 56,300 jobs in May 2020.

“Obviously, leisure and hospitality are an area that continues to see job losses or if it doesn’t reclaim so quickly, so the Orlando metro has a high concentration of those jobs. So that area is more affected than other parts of the state, “said Johnston.

The figures are based on a person’s place of residence, not the location of their workplace.

The total unemployment rate of 14.5 percent in May, said Johnston, represents approximately 1.4 million Floridians out of a workforce of 9 million.

The counties of Osceola (32.3 percent), Orange (23.4 percent) and Lake (19.1 percent) are the top three counties in the state in terms of unemployment.

The unemployment rate is of a different size from unemployment claims, where Miami-Dade County has the largest number of people who have claimed unemployment benefits.

After Miami-Dade (241,000 claims) is Broward County (187,000 claims) and then Orange County (178,000 claims). Osceola County represents 59,000 unemployment claims filed.

As coronavirus rates continue to rise, many workers have told Spectrum News that they are expected to be out of work for several months.

DEO said it cannot predict how unemployment will change in the coming months.

“These are unprecedented times, so it will be difficult to provide meaningful projections and we are very careful about posting numbers that we cannot support with rigorous methods,” said Johnston.