Enjoy numbers now – cuts are coming

Preliminary reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for March show St. Johns County at 8.6% unemployment (about 8324 people) — down from 9.2% in February.

Among counties, the jobless numbers show that those with the highest number of unemployed are Flagler, followed by Miami-Dade. Flagler County has a 13.8 percent unemployment rate, while the jobless rate in Miami-Dade County is 13.2 percent.

Good news for St. Johns County, right? Yes and no.

To be determined is if Florida’s unemployment rate spikes back up in the next few months once Governor Rick Scott signs his tax cuts into law. He is expected to sign a new state budget that eliminates roughly 5,000 jobs — although some of them are now vacant. Additionally, school districts across the state are warning that the budget approved by state lawmakers will lead to thousands of layoffs.

While the largest loss of jobs in the last year was in construction, the second largest segment has been in government. Scott was asked last week about the layoffs, especially those in school districts. He said his primary focus is “creating private sector jobs not government jobs.”

Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News staff photographer

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