The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Announces Southwest Florida September 2021 Employment Data

Oct 22, 2021

~Governor DeSantis Announces Southwest Florida Gained 21,600 Private-Sector Jobs Over the Year~

Naples, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the Naples area had the fastest over the year job growth rate compared to all metro areas in the state, increasing by 10,100 jobs, up by 7.8%. The unemployment rate in the Naples area was 3.6% in September 2021, down from 5.9%.

The Fort Myers area private sector employment increased by 11,500 jobs over the year, an increase of 5.3%. The unemployment rate in the Fort Myers area was 4.0% in September, down from 6.1% reported in September 2020.

Statewide, Florida’s successful economy is driving the nation’s positive economic activity. Florida’s economy accelerated in September 2021, growing three times faster over the month than the nation. This month marks 17 consecutive months of private-sector job growth, adding nearly 73,000 jobs over the month, increasing by 5.6% over the year. Florida has experienced this magnitude of monthly private-sector job growth on only four other occasions in the past 30 years.

The Naples area labor force increased by 14,222 over the year, an 8.3% increase. The industries gaining the most jobs over the year include leisure and hospitality, increasing by 2,600 jobs; professional and business services, increasing by 2,500 jobs; and trade, transportation, and utilities, increasing by 2,200 jobs.

The Fort Myers area labor force in September 2021 increased by 21,799 over the year, a 6.4% increase. The industry gaining the most jobs over the year was leisure and hospitality, increasing by 4,000 jobs.

The state of Florida’s labor force has increased for 11 consecutive months, by 50,000 workers over the month and a growth rate of 5.4% over the year, which is significantly higher than the national rate of 0.8%. Florida’s unemployment rate of 4.9% for September 2021 dropped 0.1 percentage point from August 2021. Data in the month of September indicates that there continue to be many job opportunities available for Floridians throughout the state, with more than 520,000 jobs posted online.

Floridians in search of work and new job opportunities are encouraged to turn to the CareerSource Florida network for help. Floridians can find guidance to register with Employ Florida ( and search listings of available local job openings. Career seekers also can improve employability assistance, perfecting resume writing, interviewing skills, establishing career goals, and pursuing customized career training. These services are provided at no cost to job seekers.

To view the September 2021 employment data, visit  


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