Unemployment falls in autumn

Coming down from a summertime high of 12.9 percent in July, Hendry County’s unemployment rate is back into the single digits as of October.

Data released by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity last month showed Hendry County posted a 9.4 percent unemployment rate in October, down 2.2 percent from the previous month.

October’s rate is also 1.3 percent lower than the unemployment rate the same time one year ago. The state unemployment rate in October was 5.1 percent. Hendry County currently has the highest unemployment rate in the state, with Hardee County coming in second with 7.9 percent and Highlands County in third with 6.9 percent.

This is the lowest unemployment rate the county has seen since June, when the rate jumped 1.9 points from 8.8 percent in May to 10.7 percent in June.

The unemployment rate is in line with the beginning of harvest season, when area growers begin hiring for temporary and seasonal jobs. Since those jobs are seasonal, unemployment will likely begin to rise when harvest season ends in late spring or early summer.

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