Unemployment figure drops again in October
Lee County’s unemployment rate dropped in October, down to 12.9 percent from September when 13.5 percent of the county’s population was unemployed.
The county rate is also down over last October’s figure. In October 2009, Lee County had 13.6 percent of its population out of work.
Barbara Hartman from the Career and Service Center in Fort Myers said, while minimal, the drop in unemployment could mark the beginning of better days ahead for Lee County’s work force.
“Its very encouraging,” she said Friday.
The Career and Service Center has been playing host to more recruiting opportunities, Hartman said, as UPS and FEDEX and retailers like Target are gearing up for their holiday push.
“We are in season and we’re seeing a hiring increase in leisure and hospitality, education and health services,” Hartman added. “We’re seeing more positive job growth in certain sectors than we’ve seen in some time.”
All five Southwest Florida counties saw decreases in unemployment activity from month to month:
— Charlotte County posted a 12.3 percent rate , down from 13.1 in September.
— Collier County posted a 12.2 percent rate, down from 13.3 in September.
— Desoto County posted a 12.4 percent rate, down from 13 percent in September.
— Hendry County posted the highest unemployment rate in the state, at 18.3 percent, though that figure decreased from 19.9 percent in October.
In Lee County, Barbara Hartman said that more than 2,000 people are no longer on unemployment, another sign of some recovery, she said.
Though the labor force has been reduced some, she said, there is some hope on the horizon.
“We are seeing some growth. Its slow but its positive,” she said. “We take two steps forward, but one step back.”