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Flagler Unemployment Again Flat at 4.1%, Per Chamber of Commerce

ⓒ Pexels | Tim Mossholder

For the third straight month, the unemployment rate in Flagler County is at 4.1% according to data released by the Palm Coast-Flagler Regional Chamber of Commerce. Its trend over the last year has been a steady crawl upward, with the figure this time last year coming in at 3.2%.

The overall number of Flagler residents currently working, either within the county or out of it, did increase a bit month over month. The figure for February 2024 showed 49,742 working residents, which went up by 134 to 49,876 in the March 2024 numbers. There were ten fewer residents seeking employment by these same numbers, from 2,122 in February to 2,112 in March.

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What’s the cause for the modest uptick in unemployment? Chamber President & CEO Greg Blosé points to the national landscape. “What’s happening in Flagler County and Florida is an extension of national economic trends,” he said. “High interest rates and stubbornly high inflation are having their impact on consumers, making them feel less positive about making big ticket purchases.”

Also contributing, Blosé says, is a seasonal downswing in one of the area’s most robust economic sectors: tourism: Flagler’s unemployment rate is usually highest during the winter and early spring months,” he continued. What will be telling is whether the expected increase in local jobs centered in the tourism and retail industry materialize, as usual, in the coming months. If local tourism and retail jobs grow in the coming months, it’s an indicator of more positive news coming as we approach summer. If local tourism and retail jobs do not grow, it’s an indicator that the financial pressures facing consumers is having an impact on buying decisions, such as vacationing to visiting Flagler County.

With the Compass Hotel by Margaritaville still a way’s off from completion, and multiple other major tourism initiatives also underway but not imminent, any major boost in the area’s tourism draw will likely have to wait until a later year. The main attractions remain the same: Daytona-area events like Bike Week and the races, annual subtropic vacation traveling, and even newer events like Flagler Beach’s Hang 8 Dog Surfing.

Written By

Chris Gollon is a Flagler County resident since 2004, as well as a staple of the local independent music scene and avid observer of Central Florida politics, arts, and recreation.

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