The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Announces Southwest Florida April 2023 Employment Data

May 19, 2023

Governor DeSantis Announces Southwest Florida Unemployment Rate Continues to Drop Over the Year

Naples, Fla. —
Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the Southwest Florida area’s unemployment rates continue to drop over the year, despite the impacts of Hurricane Ian. The Fort Myers area, one of the most impacted areas by Hurricane Ian, saw a 0.2 percentage point decrease over the year in its unemployment rate, to 2.4 percent in April 2023. The Naples area, also heavily impacted by Hurricane Ian, had a 2.1 percent unemployment rate in April 2023, a 0.2 percentage point decrease over the year.

The Fort Myers area’s private sector employment grew by 9,600 jobs over the year, an increase of 3.8 percent. The Naples area private sector employment decreased by 200 jobs (-0.1 percent) over the year in April 2023.

Southwest Florida’s area labor force increased by 16,947 over the year in April 2023. The Fort Myers area labor force grew by 15,819 over the year in April 2023, a 4.2 percent increase, and the Naples area labor force increased by 1,128 over the year, a 0.6 percent increase.  

The Fort Myers area industry gaining the most jobs over the year was leisure and hospitality, increasing by 3,100 jobs. The Naples area industry gaining the most jobs over the year was education and health services, increasing by 1,000 jobs.

In April 2023, Florida’s unemployment rate was 2.6 percent for the fourth consecutive month, which is 0.8 percentage point lower than the national rate of 3.4 percent. Florida’s statewide unemployment rate has remained lower than the national rate for 30 consecutive months since November 2020.

In April 2023, the labor force was 10,960,000, an increase of 5.8 percent since February 2020. Between April 2022 and April 2023, Florida’s total private sector employment grew by 336,200 jobs (4.1 percent), which is faster than the national private sector job growth rate of 2.7 percent during the same time period. In April 2023, with the exception of October 2022, Florida employers have added jobs for 35 months since May 2020. Florida’s over-the-year private sector job growth rate has exceeded the nation’s growth rate for 25 consecutive months since April 2021.

Florida’s labor force grew over-the-year by 2.3 percent (+248,000), faster than the national labor force growth rate of 1.7 percent. In April 2023, Florida’s labor force grew by 0.3 percent (+38,000), while the national labor force declined by less than 0.1 percent over the month. In April 2023, total private employment increased by 18,200 (+0.2 percent), growth on par with the national rate of change.

In April 2023, the professional and business services sector gained the most jobs among all major industries, adding 10,900 jobs (+0.7 percent) from the previous month, followed by education and health services with 7,100 jobs (+0.5 percent) and financial activities with the addition of 2,700 jobs (+0.4 percent). 

Data from the month of April continues to indicate there are many job opportunities available for Floridians throughout the state, with more than 464,000 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 available to help Floridians and businesses include:

Local Government Emergency Bridge Loan Program – This one-time $50 million appropriation will fund governmental operations within eligible Florida counties and municipalities and bridge the gap between the time of the hurricane and the time additional funding sources or revenues are secured. “Governmental Operations” includes costs associated with continuing, expanding or modifying local governmental operations to meet disaster-related needs and includes costs such as, but not limited to, staff salaries and payroll. Eligible applicants are encouraged to use this checklist to submit the required documentation and information via email to For more information about the Local Government Emergency Bridge Loan Program, please visit

CareerSource & DEO Disaster Jobs Portal – 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

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. Businesses interested in learning more about the Dislocated Worker Grant Program and individuals affected by Hurricane Ian who are seeking disaster recovery jobs are encouraged to contact their local career center. To find a career center near you, visit

To view the April 2023 employment data, visit:

Visit Florida Insight for more information on labor market and economic data. Additionally, the Department has provided a video to assist users in explaining the data provided through Florida Insight.


An equal opportunity employer/program.  Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
All voice telephone numbers on this website may be reached by persons using TTY/TDD equipment via the Florida Relay Service at 711.
You have selected a link to a website that is outside of the domain. Control of the content of this website belongs to the website's owner and not to Florida Commerce.