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Employment Indicators

Unemployment, Total Employment, and Labor Force statistics in Northwest Florida and Gulf Shores Alabama



Unemployment has trended downward across all counties since 2011. Unemployment rates spiked in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, going from a 2 to 3 percent average to rates ranging from 7 to 15 percent. The two Alabama counties collected, Baldwin and Mobile, were hit the worst with rates of 15.7% and 15.1% respectively. 

Unemployment has improved since, averaging around 4 to 5 percent as of June 2021, with Baldwin County showing the best recovery at 3% unemployment. 


Total Employment

Total employment has remained somewhat consistent throughout the region. Most counties have peak employment during the summer, dropping following July. These fluctuations are especially strong in Okaloosa, Bay and Baldwin Counties. Most of these counties have strong tourism economies that peak in the summer, so these fluctuations are natural. That being said, Escambia County's fluctuation trends grew weaker in 2016 in favor of fairly consistent growth throughout an entire year. 

All counties took a hit in April 2020 due to Covid-19, total employment decreased by over 20,000 in Escambia and Mobile Counties. 

As of June 2021 most counties have recovered back to pre-covid levels, save for Mobile County which sits at 175,000 total employed. 


Labor Force

Based on the decreasing unemployment rate and increase in total employment, the total labor force have improved since taking a dive in 2020. As of June 2020, Escambia County has seen exceptional growth rising by close to 20,000 since the April 2020 dip. 


Definitions and How it's Measured

Unemployment is defined as individuals who are jobless, actively seeking work, and available to take a job. People who are unable to work, like individuals with restrictive disabilities, or those who have not looked for a job in the past four weeks are not included.

Total employment is a measurement of individuals who are employed, both full and part-time. Labor force is a measure of the total population able to work, i.e. a sum of both unemployment and total employment, while also including those who are unpaid family workers and private household employees. 

All of our labor force data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)