Florida Employment Report | August 2020

Florida lost 1.2 million jobs in the initial three months of the pandemic and has since gained back over half of the jobs lost, +631,600 jobs.

The pace of job improvement slowed on a month-to-month basis, with payrolls only increasing by 57,900 jobs in August, or +0.7%, while the unemployment rate fell 400 basis points to 7.4%.

As more markets and industries opened over the summer, the employment picture improved. The momentum in June and July softened as August hiring slowed due to uncertainty surrounding new COVID-19 hot spots for infection and uneven consumer demand.

Oxford Economics reports that the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI) decelerated to 1.2% in August, from 2% in July and 3.1% in June. While labor market, financial and business sentiment data boosted the headline, credit conditions, housing data and manufacturing orders dragged.

Consumer sentiment perked up a bit in early September, with consumers feeling better about current economic conditions and the outlook going forward. Nonetheless, sentiment remains depressed relative to pre-pandemic standards and that has translated into slowing momentum in consumer spending following the initial snapback.

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