Labor Market Information

Polk County’s Unemployment Rate

The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Polk region (Polk County) was 7.3 percent in October 2020. This rate was 3.9 percentage points higher when compared to the region’s year-ago rate of 3.4 percent.

The labor force was 308,576, up 1,357 (-0.4) over the year.  There were 22,511 unemployed residents in the region.

To view a detailed report, click here. To view the release schedule for this data, click here.

Polk County Nonagricultural Employment

In October 2020 nonagricultural employment in the Lakeland-Winter Haven MSA was 230,600, a decrease of 6,100 jobs (-2.6 percent) over the year.

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

  • The mining, logging, and construction (+6.0 percent); education and health services (+1.2 percent); and government (+1.0 percent) industries grew faster in the metro area than statewide over the year.
  • The Lakeland-Winter Haven MSA had the highest annual job growth compared to all the metro areas in the state in education and health (+400 jobs). 
  • The Lakeland-Winter Haven MSA had the second fastest annual job growth rate compared to all the metro areas in the state in education and health services (+1.2 percent).
  • The Lakeland-Winter Haven MSA was tied for the third-highest annual job growth compared to all the metro areas in the state in mining, logging, and construction (+900 jobs) and government (+300 jobs).
  • The industries gaining in jobs over the year were: mining, logging, and construction (+900 jobs); education and health services (+400 jobs); and government (+300 jobs).
  • The leisure and hospitality (-3,600); trade, transportation, and utilities (-1,900 jobs); professional and business services (-800 jobs); other services (-600 jobs); manufacturing (-500 jobs); financial activities (-200 jobs); and information (-100 jobs) industries 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.

 ***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.

Florida’s Minimum Wage

Effective January 1, 2021, Florida’s minimum wage is $8.65 per hour.

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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