News Details

Unemployment Rate for Gulf Coast Region Decreases Slightly in May



Date: 2021/06/24

The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Gulf Coast region (Bay, Franklin, and Gulf counties) was 4.2 percent in May 2021. This rate is 6.5 percentage points lower than the region's year ago rate of 10.7 percent. The region's May unemployment rate was 0.8 percentage points lower than the state rate of 5.0 percent. The labor force was 98,696, up 7,395 (+8.1) over the year. There were 4,128 unemployed residents in the region.

Franklin County had the lowest unemployment rate (3.8 percent) in the CareerSource Gulf Coast region followed by Gulf County (3.9 percent), and Bay County (4.2 percent).


Unemployment Rates (%) (not seasonally adjusted)





Bay County




Franklin County




Gulf County





In May 2021 nonagricultural employment in the Panama City MSA was 81,400, an increase of 5,400 jobs (+7.1 percent) over the year.


The industries gaining in jobs over the year were: leisure and hospitality (+2,500 jobs); professional and business services (+1,000 jobs); trade, transportation, and utilities (+800 jobs); mining, logging, and construction (+400 jobs); financial activities (+400 jobs); education and health services (+200 jobs); manufacturing (+100 jobs); and other services (+100 jobs).


The government industry (-100 jobs) lost jobs over the year. The information industry was unchanged over the year.


“We are pleased to see the labor force numbers increase as jobs increase in almost every sector, along with a slight decrease in the unemployment rate,” stated Kim Bodine Executive Director of CareerSource Gulf Coast. “We hope to see positive movement forward in those two key areas and are optimistic that this forward progress will continue.”


Additional Notes


Florida Unemployment Data

Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.8 percent in May 2021, up 0.1 percentage point from the March 2021 rate, and down 9.2 percentage points from a year ago.  There were 487,000 jobless Floridians out of a labor force of 10,243,000.  The U.S. unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in May. 


Reemployment Assistance Claims Data


May-21 (Total)


(% of Workforce)

Continued Claims

% of Workforce

Bay County





Franklin County





Gulf County






Florida will end its participation in the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, the $300 per week supplemental FPUC payment, effective June 26, 2021, as part of DEO’s ‘Return to Work’ initiative.

In addition, as Florida opted out of the FPUC program, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) is requiring that Florida end its participation in the Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program, effective June 26, 2021.


The additional federal Reemployment Assistance benefit programs, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) will continue for the time being as DEO continues to carefully monitor job posting and industry hiring trends. These additional federal benefit programs are set to expire on September 6, 2021.  


The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) is committed to getting benefits to eligible Floridians as quickly as possible.


To comply with federal law, weeks beginning May 10, 2020, claimants will be required to return to the CONNECT system every two weeks to request their benefits or “claim their weeks.” In so doing, claimants will confirm that they are still unemployed and acknowledge that you are able and available for work.


You must claim your weeks in order to receive benefits. Claimants will be able to request a benefit payment for each week available.


Governor DeSantis has, however, directed DEO to waive the work search and work registration requirements for claimants through May 29, 2021. However, answers to work search questions are still required to process your claim in the CONNECT system but will not impact benefit payments.