Labor Market Information

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Polk County’s Unemployment Rate

The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Polk region (Polk County) was 6.7 percent in December 2020. This rate was 3.6 percentage point higher than the region’s year ago rate of 3.1 percent.

The labor force was 308,560, up 503 (+0.2) over the year. There were 20,743 unemployed residents in the region.

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

Please note: There will not be a data release in Feb 2021.

Polk County Nonagricultural Employment

In December 2020 nonagricultural employment in the Lakeland-Winter Haven MSA was 235,200, a decrease of 4,900 jobs (-2.0 percent) over the year.

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

  • The mining, logging, and construction (+7.3 percent) and professional and business services (+1.8 percent) industries grew faster in the metro area than statewide over the year.
  • The Lakeland-Winter Haven MSA was tied for the second fastest annual job growth rate compared to all the metro areas in the state in mining, logging, and construction (+7.3 percent). 
  • The Lakeland-Winter Haven MSA was tied for the second highest annual job growth compared to all the metro areas in the state in mining, logging, and construction (+1,100 jobs).
  • The industry gaining in jobs over the year was mining, logging, and construction (+1,100 jobs) and professional and business services (+600 jobs).
  • The leisure and hospitality (-3,900); trade, transportation, and utilities (-900 jobs); manufacturing (-700 jobs); other services (-500 jobs); government (-300 jobs); information (-200 jobs); and education and health services (-100 jobs) industries lost jobs over the year.
  • The financial activities industry was unchanged 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

Effective January 1, 2021, Florida’s minimum wage is $8.65 per hour, with a minimum wage of at least $5.63 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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