Unemployment, especially long-term unemployment, can have wide-ranging negative impacts on Pinellas County’s families, especially families with children. In addition to the immediate loss of income and its consequences, unemployment may affect marital and family relationships, increase alcoholism and homelessness and result in physical and mental health problems. A parent’s unemployment can be particularly damaging to a child and result in a decline in school performance, behavioral problems and child abuse.
The unemployment rate is an important indicator of labor market conditions. It is calculated by dividing the number of out-of-work individuals, 16 years or older, in the civilian labor force who are actively seeking employment by the total civilian labor force. Individuals who are unemployed and stop looking for a job are not considered to be in the labor force and, for that reason, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed can, at times, be somewhat misleading – it can appear that unemployment is improving when, in fact, people have given up on looking for a job. The unemployment rate is considered to be a lagging economic indicator – it tends to change direction after the overall economy has changed.
Pinellas County Unemployment Rate
Pinellas County’s estimated unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) in February 2011, declined 5.1% below the previous year to 11.2%, the first year-to-year decline in more than four years. Pinellas’ unemployment rate was slightly above the state average of 11.0% and 18% above the national average of 9.5 % (see Chart 1).
What Does Seasonally Adjusted Mean?
Seasonally adjusted data have been adjusted to remove the impact of seasonal events that regularly occur at the same time each year, e.g., increased employment at Christmastime, and are used to analyze the underlying non-seasonal trend.
- On a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. unemployment rate in February 2011 was 8.9 % vs. 11.5% for Florida. Comparable seasonally adjusted data for Pinellas County is not available.
Pinellas County Number of Unemployed
The number of Pinellas County unemployed in February 2011 decreased 4.8% from the prior year to an estimated 49,100 (see Chart 2).
National Unemployment Rates by Educational Attainment
There is a strong inverse relationship between unemployment and educational attainment. A snapshot of the national unemployment rate by educational attainment shows that the unemployment rate for individuals with less than a high school diploma is more than three times that of individuals with a bachelor’s degree or higher and 1.4 times that of high school graduates. Comparable data for Pinellas County are not available but should closely approximate the national results.
Read More About It:
Labor Force Characteristics by Race and Ethnicity, 2009: http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsrace2009.pdf
Economy at a Glance: http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.fl_tampa_msa.htm
Unemployment Among Latino Immigrants: http://pewhispanic.org/reports/report.php?ReportID=102