Florida Back to Second Place Nationwide for the Most Mass Layoffs

After a pretty good September for not getting laid off in Florida -- only the fourth-most mass layoffs in the nation for that month -- the state is back to its usual position of second-most for October.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Florida accounted for 91 of the nation's 1,101 mass layoffs last month, according to the nonseasonally adjusted numbers, second only to perennial leader California, which played home to 322 mass layoffs.

Florida's mass layoffs -- which count as one employer laying off at least 50 workers --  were also second-highest in the country in August, July, and May.

Not only did the state experience more weekly layoffs last month than it did in October 2010 but Florida also had the second-most initial claims for unemployment insurance, with 6,576 claims. There were just over 5,000 claims in Florida for August and 4,538 for September.

As we noted last week, the actual unemployment rate for the state dropped to the lowest in 28 months, but that wasn't due to a big boost in the private sector.

Four of the nine private-sector categories lost jobs in the state last month, with a loss of 4,800 construction jobs, 2,800 in leisure and hospitality, 2,700 in "other services," and 100 in financial services.

Three of the categories made modest gains of fewer than 1,000 jobs.

"Professional and business services" -- which includes professional and technical services, management of companies and enterprises, and administrative and waste services -- added 10,900 jobs, while there was a 500-job increase in manufacturing.

The only other area to add more than 1,000 jobs was government, in which the state lost 800 federal workers but added 900 state-government employees and 6,800 local-government employees.

However, the governor's statement on the state's employment situation didn't quite mirror what the numbers portray:

As we head into the holiday season, it's great to see we continue to move in the right direction when it comes to job creation and getting people back to work. The businesses in our state have created more than 100,000 jobs so far this year. I'm going to do everything I can to keep attracting businesses here and help those here already thrive so we can continue to see this growth.

Florida's accumulation of 91 mass layoffs last month was higher than the 69 in September, bucking the national trend, in which the number of nationwide mass layoffs decreased by 142 between September and October.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley