Labor Market Information

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Polk County’s Unemployment Rate

The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Polk region (Polk County) was 5.6 percent in August 2021. This rate was 3.7 percentage points lower than the region’s year ago rate of 9.3 percent.

The labor force was 330,412, up 14,543 (+4.6 percent) over the year. There were 18,659 unemployed residents in the region.

To view a detailed report, click here

The September preliminary employment summary will take place on October 22. To view the full data release schedule, click here.

Polk County Nonagricultural Employment

In August 2021, nonagricultural employment in the Lakeland-Winter Haven MSA was 244,500, an increase of 7,400 jobs (+3.1 percent) over the year.

To view an interactive graph of Florida’s total nonagricultural employment, click here.

  • The mining, logging, and construction (+5.4 percent) and trade, transportation, and utilities (+4.1 percent) and industries grew faster in the metro area than statewide over the year.
  • The Lakeland-Winter Haven MSA had the second fastest annual job growth rate compared to all the metro areas in the state in trade, transportation, and utilities (+4.1 percent).
  • The industries gaining in jobs over the year were trade, transportation, and utilities (+2,700 jobs); leisure and hospitality (+2,000 jobs); professional and business services (+1,000 jobs); mining, logging, and construction (+800 jobs); education and health services (+800 jobs); manufacturing (+400 jobs); other services (+300 jobs); and information (+100 jobs).
  • The government (-700 jobs) industry lost jobs over the year.

Polk County’s Online Job Advertisements

The Florida Online Job Demand tool delivers data produced by Help Wanted OnLine (HWOL) to measure real-time labor demand captured through online job ads. Features will allow users to explore the top jobs, including STEM related occupations, that are in demand across the state. 

To view the Florida Online Job Demand Tool, click here. To view the data for Polk County, select CareerSource Polk (17) from the Select Area dropdown menu.

 ***Beginning with the December release, The Conference Board has made a comprehensive revision of the Help Wanted OnLine (HWOL) data series. These series are now based on a different and improved universe, and as a result, the trend in these series have also improved. The HWOL data series has been revised back to January 2012. The data displayed in the Florida Online Job Demand Tool have been updated to reflect the revised HWOL data at both the state and Local Workforce Development Areas.

Regional Labor Supply Dashboard

The labor supply dashboard is designed to assist economic/workforce development with business recruitment.  It helps to answer the questions from employers concerning labor availability and make-up within a certain area.  The educational and occupational mix of workers is critical for a business to make a location decision.

To view Polk County’s Regional Labor Supply Dashboard click here. To view the data for Polk County, select CareerSource Polk (17) from the Select An Area dropdown menu.

Florida’s Minimum Wage

As of September 30, 2021, Florida’s minimum wage is $10.00 per hour, with a minimum wage of at least $6.98 per hour for tipped employees, in addition to tips.

The required posters for minimum wage along with Federal and State of Florida employment law posters may be accessed by clicking here.

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