The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Announces Southwest Florida October 2022 Employment Data

Nov 18, 2022

Governor DeSantis Announces Florida Will Continue to Monitor Economic Impacts of Hurricane Ian, Provide Resources as Long-Term Recovery Efforts Underway

Naples, Fla. —
Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Florida will continue to monitor economic impacts of Hurricane Ian and provide resources as long-term recovery efforts are underway. The Fort Myers area private sector employment grew by 8,200 jobs over the year, an increase of 3.4 percent. The Naples area private sector employment increased by 5,900 jobs over the year, an increase of 4.1 percent.


Southwest Florida’s area labor force increased by 22,366 over the year. The Fort Myers area labor force in October 2022 increased by 14,905 over the year, a 4.1 percent increase, and the Naples area labor force increased by 7,461 over the year, a 4.1 percent increase.  


The industry gaining the most jobs over the year was education and health services, increasing by 3,100 jobs. The unemployment rate in the Fort Myers area was 3.9 percent in October 2022, up 0.5 percentage point from 3.4 percent reported in September 2021. The industries gaining the most jobs over the year were construction, increasing by 1,800 jobs and education and health services, increasing by 1,600 jobs. The unemployment rate in the Naples area was 2.9 percent in October 2022, down from 3.1 percent reported in September 2021.


Governor Ron DeSantis also announced that Florida surpassed pre-pandemic employment levels in all nine major private sector industries and created jobs for the 30th consecutive month in October 2022. Over the month, Florida’s labor force grew 0.3 percent (+36,000) while the national labor force shrank, and Florida’s private sector employment grew by 0.4 percent over the month (+35,000 jobs), doubling the national growth rate of 0.2 percent.

Florida’s statewide unemployment rate was 2.7 percent in October 2022, an increase of 0.2 percentage point over the month but 1.0 percentage point lower than the national rate of 3.7 percent. Florida’s statewide unemployment rate has been lower than the national rate for 23 consecutive months since December 2020.

Data in the month of October continues to indicate there are many job opportunities available for Floridians throughout the state, with more than 476,000 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 on how to register with Employ Florida and search listings of available local job openings. Career seekers also can improve their employability by perfecting resume writing and interviewing skills, establishing career goals, and pursuing customized career training. These services are provided at no cost to job seekers.

Various resources are available to help Floridians and businesses include:

CareerSource & DEO Disaster Jobs Portal The CareerSource Florida network has mobilized and deployed units and staff from across the state to storm-affected areas to assist Floridians with employment and business services. These mobile units, directed by local workforce development board and DEO teams, have computers, internet service, and skilled staff to help people apply for disaster recovery programs and new employment opportunities. DEO is also working with the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) Network, who has deployed mobile units also and is working with the U.S. Small Business Administration. To look for employment opportunities to help rebuild Florida’s communities impacted by Hurricane Ian or to post disaster-related jobs where a labor force is needed, visit Florida’s Disaster Recovery Jobs Portal at


Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available for Floridians who live or work in disaster declared counties and became unemployed as a result of the storm. Floridians who believe they may be eligible can file a claim today at or call the DUA hotline at 800-385-3920.

Floridians have until December 30 to apply for DUA.

Dislocated Worker Grant – Through the Dislocated Worker Grant Program, DEO partners with local workforce development boards in the affected area to pay salaries for temporary disaster relief employment, which includes restoration and repair work, debris removal, and humanitarian assistance.

Community Action Network ResourcesThrough a close partnership with DEO, the Community Action Agency network helps administer the state’s Community Services Block Grant and Low-Income Home Energy Assistance programs.

  • Through the Community Services Block Grant Program, Community Action Agencies may provide emergency health, food, housing, day care, transportation assistance; housing counseling; financial management assistance; nutrition programs including federal surplus food distribution, food banks, job counseling, placement and training services and homeless prevention programs.
  • DEO has released emergency set-aside funding through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program to help families re-establish electric service, provide utility deposits at new places of residence for those permanently displaced, and repair or replace air-conditioning equipment for households with health-related conditions exacerbated by flooding, wind, and other storm damage.


Visit to apply for assistance through the Community Action Agency that serves the county where you live.


Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program – The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program provides short-term, zero-interest loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury or physical damage due to Hurricane Ian. In total, $50 million available through the program for businesses in Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, and Volusia counties that have been impacted by Hurricane Ian. At least $10 million must go to small businesses that are agricultural producers impacted by Hurricane Ian. Governor DeSantis has waived the eligibility requirement for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, allowing sole proprietors in the Marine Fisheries Industry with businesses located in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee, and Sarasota counties to apply for critical assistance. Applicants with businesses in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee, and Sarasota counties are required to provide documentation demonstrating the business is part of the Marine Fisheries Industry to be eligible for assistance. The deadline for small business owners to apply is December 2, 2022. Interested applicants can visit to apply and to learn more about the program.

To view the statewide October 2022 employment data, visit Visit Florida Insight for more information on labor market and economic data.     


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