Unemployment numbers at a record low in Bay County

Community

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Career Source Gulf Coast has been working to connect job seekers with career opportunities in Bay County now for nearly 25 years.

With a recent high demand for workers since Hurricane Michael, numbers are looking up.

March 2019 was the peak for job seekers here in Bay County, but Career Source Gulf Coast is continuing in its efforts to keep that unemployment rate low.

With a multitude of jobs available in several different industries, Career Source attributes a low unemployment rate to the strong demand for workers.

“So in Bay County, our unemployment rate is 2.8% so that’s very low unemployment,” said Director of Workforce Services, Maria Goodwin.

With that higher demand for workers, wages are typically driven up as well.

“The most recent data we have available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that wages in Bay County have gone up 9.2%. Wages in Bay County have historically been lower than both the state and national rates,” said Goodwin.

While housing has been a problem in Bay County since Hurricane Michael, there is a clear correlation between a shortage of housing and a shortage of employees.

“There’s a direct correlation between the housing market and the workforce. So we believe the shortage of housing is causing issues with people living here and moving back here,” said Goodwin.

Career Source is looking to help out job seekers by hosting several different events to connect them with businesses.

“We have the Bay County Job Fair, that’s going to be held Saturday, February 1st at Gulf Coast State College and we have the Career and Internship Fair and were doing that with Gulf Coast State College and FSU Panama City, and that’s going to be March 4th,” said Goodwin.

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