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Unemployment to Remain High

August 21st, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

Florida’s unemployment remained constant last month at 10.7 percent, which is the highest it has been since October 1975.  Fewer jobs were lost last month, but fewer people are looking for work and when they are, they are facing tough competition.

The Capital Area Community Action agency helps people in trouble. With almost a million people out of work, Director Dot Inman Johnson says business is booming.

“Their mortgage payment is due and they can’t pay it, or they are about to be evicted because they can’t pay their rent, they are directed to us”.

When the agency advertised for a receptionist and a teacher, Johnson says the agency was flooded with applications.

“We have good applicants to choose from among, because so many people are out there looking for jobs”.

The state web site, Employ Florida lists 120 thousand active jobs. Brandt Information Services posted a highly technical job and advertised it for just two days. Information consultant John McGurk says applications were running twenty percent higher than a year ago.

“We got enough applicants, to be blunt about it. You can only interview so many people before you run out of quality”.

What the unemployment numbers aren’t counting are all those people who have gotten frustrated and just stopped looking for work. 10 thousand dropped out of the job hunt last month alone. State economist Rebecca Rust says higher than usual unemployment will be the norm for awhile.

“The unemployment rate will remain relatively high. It is not expected to drop below six percent till the fiscal year 2018″, says Rust.

The jobless rate is expected to peak at 11 percent but not until the middle of next year.

50 thousand people have dropped out of the workforce since the beginning of the year.

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