DEO Press Releases

Florida Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.8 Percent

Oct 20, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, the Department of Economic Opportunity announced that Florida’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent in September, the lowest rate in more than a decade. As of September, Florida’s unemployment rate had dropped 6.9 percentage points since December 2010, faster than the national decline. Private-sector businesses were severely impacted last month by Hurricane Irma, which resulted in survey data showing a reduction of job numbers solely for the month of September. To help Florida families and business owners quickly recover from this massive storm, Governor Scott has activated multiple disaster-related resources, such as the Disaster Unemployment Program, the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program and the Florida Citrus Emergency Loan Program.

Governor Rick Scott said, “I am proud that Florida’s unemployment rate has reached a more than 10-year low of 3.8 percent. However, Hurricane Irma was the largest storm we have seen, which affected our entire state and led to the largest evacuation and power restoration effort. Obviously, our jobs numbers were affected because of this. Florida is a resilient state and we are working around the clock to rebuild and recover from this unprecedented storm. Florida’s economy remains strong and more than 1.3 million private-sector jobs have been created across our state since December 2010. We will continue to fight for jobs every day.”  

Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, said, “It is great news that Florida’s unemployment rate is at 3.8 percent, the lowest in more than a decade. Florida also continued to have a labor force growing three times faster than the nation’s. Although the state as a whole was impacted by this storm, three large metro areas still had strong over-the-year job gains, showing the strength of our economy. As we restore businesses damaged from this natural disaster, it is more important than ever that we focus on getting Floridians back to work so families throughout the state can continue to flourish.”

Other positive economic indicators include:

  • In the last year, 239,000 people entered Florida’s labor force, a growth of 2.4 percent. This rate is three times the national labor force growth rate of only 0.8 percent.
  • Florida job postings showed 221,091 openings in September 2017.
  • In September, Florida’s 24 regional workforce boards reported 20,022 Floridians, including 1,130 veterans, were placed in jobs.

To view the September 2017 employment data visit

To view September 2017 regional press releases, visit


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