September 6, 2017
(Fort Lauderdale, FL)-- The loss of 33,000 jobs across the United States in September is another storm the nation and South Florida will successfully weather, according to Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Dan Lindblade, CAE. The country hasn’t seen a drop of that intensity in years, and Lindblade says the full effect may not be realized for weeks or months.
“The impacts on employment from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are temporary, but particularly difficult for some,” he said. “The loss of power forced thousands of people, especially in the leisure and hospitality industries, out of work until the grid was restored. When the lights came on, many were able to return to work. Small business owners have a harder time absorbing the loss of a week’s worth of revenue than a large corporation. It’s enough to close some doors permanently.”
Another area of concern is Florida’s crucial agriculture industry. It’s not yet clear how much damage was done to crops or how much the harvest will impact the state’s economy.
Broward County’s unemployment rate for August dropped to 3.9 percent, down 0.9 percent from August 2016 and 0.3 percent lower than the state. The metropolitan data for South Florida will not be released until mid-October, but, despite the numbers blown around by the storms, Lindblade says the outlook is bright for South Florida.
“Broward County will continue to be one of the top new job producers in Florida into the first quarter of 2018,” he said.
In fact, Lindblade is predicting even more momentum. While the impact of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico was not factored in to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report, it will move the dial in Florida.
“It is estimated that a minimum of 700,000 residents of Puerto Rico will be leaving the island and relocating to the mainland permanently,” Lindblade said. “They will need jobs. Their arrival will affect unemployment numbers.”
###The Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce is the largest business organization in Broward County Florida with 1,300 members employing nearly 500,000.