Mixed job growth in Polk County | Business
Winter Haven, Florida - Mixed job growth in Polk County as the unemployment rate falls in September.
According to the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation unemployment was at 12 percent last month, down from 13.1 percent the year before and 12.2 percent in August.
Polk County had 2,100 fewer jobs than it did a year ago, and saw a gain of 1,000 jobs from August. A total of 32,621 people were reported as unemployed here last month.
The size of Polk's labor force shrank by nearly 5,000 people from last year, leading to the annual drop in unemployment. Declines in the labor force can occur when people stop looking for work and are no longer counted in statistics.
However, Polk's monthly decline in unemployment was encouraging because it was fueled by an increase in the number of people working, said Gordon Kettle, an economics professor at Polk State College.
"That (monthly) reduction in the unemployment rate was very positive compared to what we have seen recently," said Kettle, an economic consultant to Polk government. He also noted that many local industries posted monthly job growth in September.
"If this pattern can continue, then local labor market conditions should remain on a path to improvement throughout the balance of the year," Kettle said.
Last week at a job fair at Polk State College in Winter Haven 1500 people, including 253 military veterans attended.
Statewide, unemployment was at 10.6 percent in September.