FloridaCommerce Announces Southwest Florida September 2023 Employment Data

Oct 20, 2023

FloridaCommerce Announces Fort Myers Area Sees Fastest Over-The-Year Job Growth Rate in Professional and Business Services

~ Southwest Florida Labor Force Up 22,247 Over the Year in September 2023 ~

Naples, Fla. — Today, FloridaCommerce announced that the Fort Myers area had the fastest over-the-year job growth rate compared to all metro areas in the state in professional and business services at 8.6 percent. The Southwest Florida’s area labor force increased by 22,247 over the year in September 2023. The Fort Myers area labor force grew by 19,574 over the year in September 2023, a 5.2 percent increase, and the Naples area labor force increased by 2,673 over the year, a 1.4 percent increase.

The Fort Myers area, one of the most impacted areas by Hurricane Ian, saw a 0.5 percentage point increase in its unemployment rate over the year, at 3.2 percent in September 2023. The Naples area, also heavily impacted by Hurricane Ian, had a 3.3 percent unemployment rate in September 2023, a 0.6 percentage point increase over the year.

Additionally, the Fort Myers area’s private sector employment grew by 9,500 jobs over the year in September 2023, an increase of 3.7 percent. The Fort Myers area industries gaining the most jobs over the year were professional and business services, increasing by 3,800 jobs; and education and health services, increasing by 3,500 jobs.

The Naples area private sector employment decreased by 600 jobs (-0.4 percent) over the year in September 2023. The Naples area industry gaining the most jobs over the year was education and health services, increasing by 600 jobs.

Florida’s labor force is at an all-time high. Florida continues to outpace the nation in labor force growth for 28 consecutive months and over-the-year private sector job growth rate for 30 consecutive months in September 2023. Florida was also ranked #1 for entrepreneurship by researchers at The Digital Project Manager with more than 2.6 million business formations under Governor DeSantis’ leadership. Floridians continue to show their confidence in the opportunities available to them with continued growth in the labor force by 33,000 and private sector employment by 16,200 in September 2023.

Florida’s labor force has grown or remained steady for 35 consecutive months with an over-the-year growth rate of 3.0 percent in September 2023—a full percentage point faster than the national rate of 2.0 percent over the same time period. Moreover, according to The Digital Project Manager, “With 13,238 small businesses per 100,000 of the population, this is the most in any state. Floridians have an entrepreneurial mindset that doesn't only benefit themselves but their communities with the jobs that they create."

Florida’s unemployment rate was 2.8 percent in September 2023, lower than the national rate of 3.8 percent and marking the 35th consecutive month Florida’s unemployment rate has remained below the nation’s.

Florida’s private sector employment grew by 2.5 percent (+214,500 jobs) over the year in September 2023, faster than the national rate of 2.0 percent over the same time period.

In September 2023, the professional and business services sector gained the most jobs among all major industries, adding 10,600 jobs from the previous month, followed by education and health services, adding 5,900 jobs and trade, transportation and utilities adding 4,500 jobs.

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.

To view the September 2023 jobs reports by region, please see below:

To view the September 2023 employment data, visit: www.floridajobs.org/labor-market-information/labor-market-information-press-releases/monthly-press-releases.

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 floridajobs.org domain. Control of the content of this website belongs to the website's owner and not to Florida Commerce.