Volusia employment numbers fall in August

Experts say the labor force is still looking up despite the state’s latest employment numbers for Volusia County

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Central Florida employers still have thousands of open positions. In Volusia County, the latest workforce numbers show the number of employed residents is declining.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s data shows in Volusia, 71 jobs were filled in June and 3,279 jobs were filled in July. In August, though, there was a standstill and the number of employed people actually dropped by 217.

“We still have people looking for employment. There was a dip in hospitality state-wide,” Christine Sikora said.

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Sikora is the Vice President of Innovative Workforce Solutions at CareerSource Flagler and Volusia.

“A lot of workers maybe don’t want to go back to hospitality because they see it either as a high risk because of COVID or because it is dependent on the economy,” she said.

Sikora said while many employers think the delta variant could be behind the drop, she thinks it’s because of the seasonal needs from hotels and other hospitality fields. The state doesn’t adjust county-by-county data for seasonal employment.

Sikora said the better sign is the actual unemployment rate in the county, which dropped from 5.1% in July to 4.9% in August.

“We have gained over 17,000 people in our labor force since this time last year,” she said.

Sikora said the over 400 manufacturers in Volusia and Flagler counties are hiring, but they are seeing all industries in need of employees right now.

“We are seeing across the spectrum, it’s not one industry-specific, and we’re seeing a lot of people who want to go back to school,” she said.

About the Author:

Molly joined News 6 at the start of 2021, returning home to Central Florida.