Labor Market Information

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Source: FloridaCommerce Bureau of Workforce Statistics and Economic Research

Polk County’s Unemployment Rate (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Polk region (Polk County) was 3.8 percent in December 2023. This rate was 1.1 percentage point greater than the region’s year ago rate of 2.7 percent. The region’s December 2023 unemployment rate was 0.9 percentage point above the state rate of 2.9 percent.

The labor force was 347,215, up 6,034 (+1.8 percent) over the year. There were 13,093 unemployed residents in the region.

To view a detailed report, click here.

The January 2024 preliminary employment summary will take place on March 11, 2024. There is no data release in February. To view the full data release schedule, click here.

Polk County Nonagricultural Employment

In October 2023, nonagricultural employment in the Lakeland-Winter Haven MSA was 271,600, an increase of 4,000 jobs (+1.5 percent) over the year.

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

  • In December 2023, nonagricultural employment in the Lakeland-Winter Haven MSA was
    274,500, an increase of 1,600 jobs (+0.6 percent) over the year.
  • The Leisure and Hospitality (+6.0 percent); Education and Health Services (+5.8 percent); and
    Other Services (+2.8 percent) industries grew faster in the metro area than statewide, over
    the year.
  • The Lakeland-Winter Haven MSA had the fastest annual job growth rate compared to all the
    metro areas in the state in the Leisure and Hospitality (+6.0 percent) industry.
  • The industries gaining jobs over the year were Education and Health Services (+2,300 jobs);
    Leisure and Hospitality (+1,600 jobs); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+900 jobs);
    Manufacturing (+200 jobs); and Other Services (+200 jobs).
  • The industries losing jobs over the year were Professional and Business Services (-2,700 jobs);
    Mining, Logging, and Construction (-500 jobs); Financial Activities (-200 jobs); and
    Government (-200 jobs).
  • The Information industry was unchanged in 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.

 ***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.

For more information click here.

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, 2023, Florida’s minimum wage is $12.00 per hour, with a minimum wage of at least $8.98 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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