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SUN FILE PHOTO BY JERRY BEARD

Construction activity last week building new stores at Kings Crossing Shopping Center in Port Charlotte. The regional unemployment rate for June is down from that time last year, but up a bit from May.

By LIZ HARDAWAY

Staff Writer

Florida saw a .2 percent decrease in its unemployment rate in June compared to the same time last year.

And much of the same is true for the region, which saw a .3 percent dip in that time across Charlotte, DeSoto and Sarasota counties.

It’s not the lowest unemployment rate this year, though. And employment is expected to ramp up even more once the busy season returns.

What are our June unemployment rates?

Charlotte County: 4 percent (down 0.3 percent since last year)

DeSoto County: 3.9 percent (down 0.3 percent since last year)

Sarasota County: 3.7 percent (down 0.3 percent since last year)

Unemployment was at its lowest in April, according to Hans Dettling, the employment security representative for CareerSource Southwest Florida, and has been creeping upward since. He calls this the “summer hole.”

“The snowbirds are gone and we entered into the rainy season,” Dettling explained. “Our retail/hospitality industry is most likely to be affected by the slow season. Workers are not getting as many hours as in our high season in wintertime. Traditionally, they get reduced hours or no hours during summer.”

Employment should pick up, though, once the season starts.

The region’s June unemployment numbers were also slightly higher than May. However, statewide June and May saw no change.

Employment data was collected from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the Bureau of Workforce Statistics and Economic Research, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

DeSoto-Hardee-Highlands-Okeechobee

The Heartland region as a whole had a 0.2 percent decrease in unemployment since June 2018.

DeSoto and Okeechobee counties, had the lowest unemployment rates in this region, though, at 3.9 percent for June.

The region as a whole, however, decreased the number of jobs it had by 1,591.

Seven of 11 industries grew with the region’s information industry seeing the most growth at 18.9 percent.

Email: Liz.Hardaway@yoursun.com

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Unemployment Rate

June 2019 May 2019 June 2018
Charlotte County 4.0% 3.5% 4.3%
DeSoto County 3.9% 3.1% 4.2%
Sarasota County 3.4% 3.0% 3.7%
Florida (Seasonally Adjusted) 3.4% 3.4% 3.6%
United States (Seasonally Adjusted) 3.7% 3.6% 4.0%

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