The Southwest Florida area’s unemployment rates dropped over the last year despite the impacts of Hurricane Ian, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The Fort Myers area’s unemployment rate decreased 0.7% to 3% in January 2023 while Naples experienced a 0.8% drop to 2.5%. Southwest Florida’s area labor force increased by 12,111 over the year in January 2023. The Fort Myers area labor force grew by 11,877 over the year, a 3.2% increase, and the Naples area labor force increased by 234 over the year, a 0.1% increase. The Fort Myers area industries gaining the most jobs over the year were leisure and hospitality increasing by 3,600 jobs and construction increasing by 3,200 jobs. The Naples area industries gaining the most jobs over the year were education and health services, increasing by 1,400 jobs and construction increasing by 1,100 jobs.
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