PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay County is seeing the lowest rates of unemployment in its history.

“We’ve had a banner year so far in Bay County,” Bay EDA President Becca Hardin said.

Hardin said the county has an unemployment rate under 3%.

“This summer has been an anomaly really,” Hardin said. “We’ve seen projects that have come through our organization like we’ve never seen before.” 

Hardin said four new projects will bring 600 jobs to the county. FedEx Ground is supporting 200 jobs. Manufacturers Central Moloney Inc. and Resia will also supply at least 200 jobs in the near future.

“We’ve been telling people it’s our time,” Hardin said. “People are finding out that we not only have beautiful beaches but we have the environment and the climate that is pro-business and supports business growth in our community.”

Hardin said there are also plans to build a new terminal at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport. That will add 35 jobs. 

“The average wage for all of these projects is right around $50,000 a year,” Hardin said. “And they’re good companies with good benefits.”

That’s above the $48,000 average wage throughout Bay County.

“The Bay County wages have grown almost six percent over the year,” CareerSource Gulf Coast Communications Manager Becky Samarripa said. “So we see a lot of job seekers that already have jobs, but they are often in search of jobs that are paying a little more.”