Local unemployment is down while local student debt is up

Despite Leon County’s low unemployment rate, Tallahassee was recently listed in Business Insiders article “The 21 cities in the US where people carry the most student loan debt.”
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Leon County’s September unemployment rate is one of the top 20 lowest unemployment rates in the state of Florida. With an unemployment rate of 2.8%, Leon County tied with eight other Florida counties for No. 11 in the state. This is the lowest unemployment rate for the county since 2006.

Leon County’s unemployment rate is 0.7% lower than the national employment rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and  0.4% lower than the state average, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The county’s unemployment rate is 0.3% lower than the rate in September of 2018.

Leon County Jobs report showed 156,369 individuals working in Leon County this year, a 4,511 job increase from the prior year.  The region followed the nationwide trend of seeing growth in jobs related to healthcare as well as professional and business services.

Gov. Ron Desantis said, “I can’t say it enough, Florida’s business-friendly environment continues to attract investment and growth.”

In September, Desantis celebrated WorkForce Development Month in Florida. The month highlighted the various agencies and organizations which aid in helping Floridians find jobs, keeping unemployment rates subdued.

The state currently has 15 programs in place which provide workforce training. They include Veterans Employment Program and Apprenticeship FLA.

To help continue Florida’s economic growth, the Florida Talent Development Committee held its first meeting this month to begin working on a plan to ensure that 60 percent of working-age Floridians have a post-secondary credential by 2030, according to a DEO press release.

The U.S. unemployment rate for those with only a high school diploma is 2% higher than those with an associate’s degree or technical training and 3% higher than those with a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to BLS.

The plan, which will be revealed on Dec. 31, will determine if post-secondary degrees, certificates and other credentials awarded by post secondary institutions in Florida line up with job placement rates, according to the FTDC website.

This comes just three months after one of the nation’s largest consumer credit reporting companies, Experian, released its student loan debt report. The report ranked Florida as one of the “Top 10 states with the largest 1-year increase in student loan debt.”

The report found that the average student loan debt for an adult in Florida is $36,706. While the average student loan debt in 2019 for an adult in Tallahassee is $40,504, according to a recent study from Business Insider.

For more information on Leon County’s Workforce Statistics visit Floridajobs.org