The county’s unemployment rate was flat in July after a June jump, according to statistics from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

The county’s unemployment rate in July was 3.9 percent, unchanged from June and the highest in the region which also includes Bay and Franklin County.

Gulf County’s unemployment rate was 3.1 percent in May, the last of several months of positive news on the jobs front.

The unemployment rate in July 2017 was 4.0 percent; the same rate as in February of this year before moving down for several months.

The region’s unemployment rate was 3.6 percent, with Franklin County leading the way with a 3.5 percent unemployment rate, up a tick from June; Bay was at 3.6 percent.

A year ago, the region’s unemployment rate was 4.0 percent.

The unemployment rate in Florida was 3.7 percent in July, down from June and down 0.4 of a percentage point from a year ago.

This is the lowest unemployment rate in Florida in over a decade.

In Florida, there were 383,000 unemployed from a labor force of 10.2 million.

The national unemployment rate for July was 3.9 percent.

Out of a regional labor force of 105,233, which was up 2.8 percent year over year, there were 3,791 unemployed.

“We continue to see strong job growth year over year,” said Kim Bodine, Executive Director of CareerSource Gulf Coast. “Our economy seems to be continuing to grow even in areas not related to our traditionally strong tourism industry.

A key economic driver in Gulf County was the 106 percent jump in bed tax collections compared to May, according to CareerSource Gulf Coast.

In Mexico Beach, bed tax collection was up 111 percent compared to May.

In July, non-agricultural employment in the Panama City MSA, which also includes Gulf County, was 88,500, up 3,200 jobs, or 3.8 percent, over the year.

The Panama City MSA grew as fast or faster compared to the state average in the following sectors: professional and business services (up 4.5 percent); mining and logging and construction (up 5.8 percent); education and health services (up 4.5 percent); and retail trade (up 4.8 percent) other services (3.4 percent); and government (0.7 percent).

Industries gaining jobs over the past year included goods producing (up 100 jobs); service providing (up 3,100 jobs); professional and business services (up 500 jobs); wholesale trade (up 100 jobs); retail trade (up 600 jobs); education and health services (up 500 jobs); leisure and hospitality (up 300 jobs); trades, transportation and utilities (up 700 jobs); government (up 900 jobs); and financial activities (up 100 jobs).

According to the DEO, the manufacturing industry (down 200 jobs) lost jobs and other business sectors were unchanged, year over year.

The unemployment rate does not reflect those unemployed who are no longer receiving unemployment benefits nor does it include those who have stopped seeking employment.

CareerSource Gulf Coast operates offices in all three counties. Visit www.careersourcegc.com to learn more about professional workforce development and job placement services, all offered free of charge.