Unemployment numbers can be deceiving

Christina Stapleton with her camera. Photo courtesy: Stapleton

Unemployment numbers in Tallahassee rose this summer, although they aren’t as high as they were during the pandemic.

In June Tallahassee had a 3.1% unemployment rate, compared to a 2.5% rate in May, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The 4,863 unemployed local residents are not working or homeless. For the portion that are not working, many of them are college students. With three major colleges in the city, many students want to focus on school and their parents help then along the way.

Terani Carter, a student at Florida A&M University, says she hasn’t had a job in three weeks and she’s not really looking.

“I’ve never really thought of working a blue- or white-collar job just because I only have jobs for a couple of months at a time,” Carter said. “Most of the time I don’t even work. My parents normally pay for whatever I want.”

With entrepreneurial avenues becoming overly popular, local residents are spending less time becoming blue-collar and white-collar employees and more time becoming their own boss. College students are creating a business because of a discovered craft or an activity.

Some residents are creating businesses that fulfill their necessities such as doing hair, nails and eyelashes. Men have started their own hair cutting businesses, creating clothing brands and other hustles. One Tallahassee resident found something that’s a passion and productive.

Christina Stapleton, CEO of Shots By Stapleton, says entrepreneurship takes a certain level of focus and drive. With enough of that she’s able to run her business and pay the bills.

“There is a lot of things that play into having a business that not everybody tells you about,” Stapleton said. “It’s a combination of customer service, producing good work, actually learning your craft and always having the drive to actually learn more about your craft.”

Stapleton has also been able to provide a good work environment and stay in business because of her exceptional work ethic and the sense of comfort she provides to her clients, mainly women.

Although people have become very successful through entrepreneurship or content creation, this avenue does not seem to be for everyone. There are still a handful who are not homeless but unemployed, which means one can only wonder what they are doing. Some residents are clearly finding ways to make money without having to fill out those W-9 forms.

As the next few months go by, there may be another spike in the unemployment numbers if locals continue finding loopholes in the working class.