Make us your home page

Hernando County's job situation worse than statistics show

Bill Stone, 46, works with Carol Griffith of Career Central in Spring Hill on his resume earlier this month. Stone lost his job six months ago when his employer shuttered its doors.


Bill Stone, 46, works with Carol Griffith of Career Central in Spring Hill on his resume earlier this month. Stone lost his job six months ago when his employer shuttered its doors.

If you're an employer looking for workers, look no further.

There are 9,377 unemployed individuals on record in Hernando County. That's 14.9 percent of the work force. It's likely that many of those who are jobless worked in some aspect of the construction industry, which employed more than 4,500 at one time during Hernando's homebuilding fever, according to the state's work force agency.

But 14.9 percent unemployment is only part of the story. That number excludes anyone whose unemployment benefits have run out or those who have simply given up and stopped looking for work.

It doesn't include many who were self-employed, but can no longer pay the bills, and it doesn't include spouses or children who depended upon those paychecks for basic needs.

For this information, we look anecdotally at the number of people who attend Love Your Neighbor dinners or show up for free bags of groceries at local food pantries.

Numbers are up. Meals served are holding steady. Many faces are new.

Nor does the 14.9 percent say anything about those who are underemployed and working less than full time for economic reasons. According to a report released this month by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, underemployment is also at a record high across the country.

Making matters worse, those who generally earn less, even during prosperous economic times, are significantly more likely to be underemployed during the current recession. Conversely, top earners are less likely to have found their hours and wages cut, according to the report.

Last December, Justen Durr, 27, was among many who visited Career Central looking for work. He'd been out of work a year and had taken a variety of medical courses to increase his chances of employment.

He has found it, and the medical courses helped. But so far he's only working 16 hours a week. He has now joined the ranks of the underemployed and looks forward to eventually returning to full-time work.

Hernando County has exported workers for years. It is estimated that one-third of the county's workers — about 20,000 residents — commute across county lines for employment. And when companies shed jobs in counties like Pinellas and Pasco, those commuters also find themselves at Career Central, searching the job banks and seeking advice.

Jobseekers include Bill Stone, 46, who was laid off six months ago when Evatone Printing in Clearwater shut its doors after more than 80 years.

Stone has been looking for work since then, and is hoping to stay in the field of commercial printing.

For those hoping to find work in familiar territory, the odds are greater in the education and health sectors.

For those seeking work in construction, there are nearly 25 unemployed individuals for every available job, according to a report by Northeastern University, which analyzed the job market on a national level.

Billy Ventura, 21, has also been job hunting. He has experience in construction, sales and customer service. He says he's a regular at Career Central, but hasn't found employment yet.

The county hopes to learn more about its unemployed workers as well as those who commute for work.

In the newly proposed economic development plan, business development director Michael McHugh highlighted this as a goal.

"We want to know who's out there," McHugh said, "what talents they have, where did they lose their jobs."

Knowing these details, as well the skill sets of commuters, can help the Office of Business Development recruit companies planning to relocate, he said.

In the meantime, many continue to hold on and hold out hope that the right job will open up.

Angela Selway had worked in the housing industry prior to joining Chasco Machine and Manufacturing as the company's full-time sales and marketing person.

"We trained her to do this," said Chasco Machine president Jeff Roth. "Here's a person that wasn't in this industry, and now she is."

Shary Lyssy Marshall can be reached at

Related content:

Hernando County's job situation worse than statistics show

Bargains for buyers, but anxiety for builders in Hernando's housing market

Hernando County training and education classes help entrepreneurs and the unemployed

Hernando needs large-impact, high-wage, county business officials say

Lack of widespread broadband Internet service puts Hernando County at a disadvantage

Hernando's trend of opening big retail spots slows due to lack of bank lending, wary shoppers

Dust settles on mining operations in Hernando County

Banks hope consumers, businesses are ready for economic turnaround

Hospitals try to keep more patients in Hernando County

Hernando County Chamber of Commerce moving to new location at airport

Hernando County Airport offers alternative to Tampa, Orlando

Blueberries become multimillion industry in Hernando County

Hernando County Office of Business Development 2009 projects

(New or expanded businesses)

Project type of work # of Jobs
AME International tire-changing equipment manufacturer/distributor 5 jobs
Woodco Truss truss manufacturer 30 jobs
Airdyne aviation products 5 jobs
Neubert Aero aviation products 25 jobs
Air Center
fixed-based operator 20 jobs
Global Jet Care air ambulance services 20 jobs
Zymol car wax manufacturer/
10 jobs
Better Mix Plant cement manufacturer 10 jobs
Mejor Foods food product distributor 5 jobs
HETA technical training provider 4 jobs
HealthSouth Central Billing Center back office operations
billing center
5 jobs
plastic injection molding
Flagstone Pavers decorative paver
5 jobs
Accuform safety sign manufacturer 5 jobs
Chasco Machine precision machining 31 jobs
Sparton Electronics electronics manufacturer 175 jobs*

* Retained jobs

Source: Hernando County Office of Business Development

Related content:

Hernando County's job situation worse than statistics show 02/27/10 [Last modified: Saturday, February 27, 2010 4:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Unexpected weak quarter at MarineMax slashes boating retailer shares by 20 percent


    CLEARWATER — Just then you thought it was safe to go back into the water, a boating business leader issued a small craft warning.

    Bill McGill Jr., CEO of Clearwater's MarineMax, the country's biggest recreational boat retailer. [Courtesy of MarineMax]
  2. CapTrust moving headquarters to downtown Park Tower


    TAMPA — CAPTRUST Advisors, a Raleigh, N.C.-based investment consulting firm, is moving its Tampa offices into Park Tower. CapTrust's new space will be 10,500 square feet — the entirety of the 18th floor of the downtown building, which is scheduled to undergo a multi-million-dollar renovation by 2018.

    CAPTRUST Advisors' Tampa location is moving into Park Tower. Pictured is the current CapTrust location at 102 W. Whiting St. | [Times file photo]
  3. Good news: Tampa Bay no longer a major foreclosure capital of the country

    Real Estate

    Once in the top five nationally for foreclosure filings, the Tampa Bay area no longer makes even the top 25.

    A few short years ago, Tampa Bay was a national hub for foreclosures. Not any more. [Getty Images/iStockphoto]
  4. Tampa-based start-up takes on Airbnb by promoting inclusion, diversity


    NEW TAMPA — Last May, Rohan Gilkes attempted to book a property in Idaho on the home-sharing platform Airbnb. After two failed attempts, the African-American entrepreneur asked a white friend to try, and she was "instantly" approved for the same property and dates.

    Rohan Gilkes poses for a portrait at his home and business headquarters in Tampa. 

Innclusive, a Tampa-based start-up, is a home-sharing platform that focuses on providing a positive traveling experience for minorities. Rohan Gilkes, the founder, said he created the organization after several negative experiences with Airbnb.
[CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]

  5. McMansions, state sewage order on tap at St. Petersburg City Council

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council is set Thursday to vote on two major issues: controversial zoning changes aimed at curbing big McMansion-style homes and a consent order with the state that will require St. Petersburg to fix its ailing sewage system.

    Two big, blocky homes on the 2300 block of Dartmouth, Ave N under construction in April. Several new homes under construction.
in St. Petersburg's Historic Kenwood Neighborhood are too big, residents complain. The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday is set to consider ordinances aimed at curbing the construction of big "McMansions." [LARA CERRI   |   Times]