November 26, 2022

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Southwest Florida unemployment brightens, tourism still struggles

The latest unemployment data was released Friday.

Southwest Florida continues to add jobs to the ones lost as a side effect of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The five-county region of Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties has added 473,700 jobs from a year ago. That means the jobs lost number has fallen from almost half a million to 23,000, according to the January employment report released Monday by Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity.

Southwest Florida construction jobs climbed by 1,900 from a year ago, according to the data analyzed from the state report by CareerSource Southwest Florida.

“Looking at the numbers, we have reached what we consider full employment, which is between 4 and 5%,” said Janeth Castrejon,  communications manager for CareerSource Southwest Florida. “We are kind of leading the way on this number. What’s the best indicator is the year-to-year comparison instead of month-to-month.”