With the state unemployment rate stagnant at 12%, the Workforce Center in Panama City, remains full of folks searching for jobs.
“More or less it’s just getting worse and worse by the day,” said Bay County resident, James Guy.
After going six months without work, Guy is weighing his options. He’s a mechanic by trade, but like many, he’s open to anything to make ends meet.
“I came to look for a job, and maybe get some employment skills to help me out a little bit more, so I can find a career,” said Guy.
Northwest Florida is not a bad place to look. According to the Agency for Workforce Innovation, Bay, Jackson and Walton counties wrapped up 2010 with relatively lower statistics than the state.
In studying those numbers, the Workforce Center’s thinks there are clearly contributing circumstances.
“Here in Northwest Florida we’re fortunate to have the military bases, which acts as a stabilizing factor. We also have a very strong tourism industry which helps us in our peak months for tourism,” said Gulf Coast Workforce Center Communications Director, Maria Goodwin.
However, with numbers that are basically flat businesses are not back to normal. Although based on the fact figures didn’t get worse economists predict things should pick up slowly.
“I think 2011 is not going to necessarily be a tremendous year, but I think it’s going to be the year where we start to see things take off, but by 2012, we should be on a path to pretty good growth,” said Executive Director of the Bay County Economic Development Alliance, Janet Watermeier.
While that sounds positive, Guy is having a hard time seeing that future.
“I mean I think if it was going to have any hint of getting better any time soon, it would have already shown improvement, toward getting there,” said Guy.
Although despite the high unemployment rate the number of jobs in the state is up.