Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Business

Recession snares six energy states as Florida economy defies signs of slowdown

Amid all the talk of the U.S. economic rebound and job growth comes news that a bevy of states are, by one respected eye, already in a recession.

A report by S&P Global Ratings says recession hit six of the eight biggest oil-producing states in 2016, a result of the impact from the global commodity's slide on the American energy market. Alaska, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Wyoming are in a recession, with the larger and more diverse Texas economy evading the clutches of a downturn thus far. Montana also escaped.

Recession in parts of the country? Floridians probably did not see this coming. This state last Friday announced that its jobless rate held steady at 4.9 percent in December, as it was in November. The U.S. unemployment rate is 4.7 percent.

The only blip that bears watching is that Florida actually lost jobs in December from a month earlier. Jobs declined in the month by 700, a modest number to be sure, though private sector jobs actually dropped by 2,700 in December. It was only the addition of 2,000 new government jobs in this state that helped trim the total job decline to 700 in December.

Whether the job dip is a harbinger of slowing times for Florida seems unlikely for now. Florida added 251,400 jobs in all of 2016, more than any other state except California.

Still, I'm a big believer in maintaining economic perspective. Here are three indicators just out from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that let us know where Florida stands among the 50 states:

19: The number of states whose December unemployment rates were significantly lower than Florida's 4.9 percent.

2.6: Percent of jobless in New Hampshire, as of December the lowest unemployment rate of any state.

• 6.7: Percent of jobless in Alaska, as of December the highest unemployment rate of any state. Alaska is one of those six states now in a recession, says S&P Global.

So where does Florida stand among its peers? Not too hot, not too cold. Comfortably in the economic middle.

Contact Robert Trigaux at [email protected] Follow @venturetampabay.

Comments
FPL parent wants to expand its Florida footprint with new purchase

FPL parent wants to expand its Florida footprint with new purchase

TALLAHASSEE ó The parent company of Florida utility giant Florida Power & Light announced Monday that it will buy the largest electricity producer in Northwest Florida, Gulf Power, in a $6.4 billion deal.Juno Beach-based NextEra Energy Inc. said in a...
Updated: 5 hours ago
One of Ybor Cityís most historic blocks about to see construction of four-story boutique hotel

One of Ybor Cityís most historic blocks about to see construction of four-story boutique hotel

TAMPA ó Developers are poised to launch construction this week on one of Ybor Cityís biggest new projects in years ó a four-story, $50 million boutique hotel being created by a Chicago company that seeks out neighborhoods rich in color and character....
Updated: 7 hours ago
Shoppers begin Publix boycott as chain continues supporting Adam Putnam for governor

Shoppers begin Publix boycott as chain continues supporting Adam Putnam for governor

Publix has been Floridaís favorite grocery chain for decades ó but some shoppers are turning their backs on the store after learning it donated more than half a million dollars to gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam. A handful of state advocacy group...
Updated: 10 hours ago
GasBuddy predicts plunge in summer travel, blames gas prices

GasBuddy predicts plunge in summer travel, blames gas prices

At least one gas price tracker expects rising fuel prices to sharply curtail summer travel. "For all those that have said summer travel will be unaffected by high gas prices, we offer thousands of respondents who have strongly indicated thatís not tr...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Barack and Michelle Obama are becoming television and film producers for Netflix

Barack and Michelle Obama are becoming television and film producers for Netflix

Netflix announced a production deal Monday with Barack and Michelle Obama that will see the former first couple create a wide range of content for the streaming service.The deal, talks for which had first been reported in March, will encompass a wide...
Published: 05/21/18
Starbucks: You donít have to buy coffee to sit in our cafes or use our restrooms

Starbucks: You donít have to buy coffee to sit in our cafes or use our restrooms

Starbucks is now allowing people to use its restrooms and sit in its cafes and patios even if they do not buy anything.The coffee giant on Saturday announced its new policy, which says that customers, including those who did not make a purchase, can ...
Published: 05/21/18

Hernando Business Digest for May 25

Business digestBrieflyHOSPITAL UPGRADES SURGICAL SYSTEM: Oak Hill Hospital recently acquired the latest da Vinci Xi Surgical System, which has broader capabilities than prior generations of the system. The new system is designed with the goal of furt...
Published: 05/21/18
Camping without the hassle: New service rents you all the gear you need, plus the car

Camping without the hassle: New service rents you all the gear you need, plus the car

One day in April, I returned from a camping trip - a quick 24 out of the city - and ran a load of laundry. Whatís more telling is what I didnít do.I didnít hose down a muddy tent, I didnít soak a shoddily cleaned pot, and I categorically did not empt...
Published: 05/19/18
Romano: Save your money, sports betting wonít be in Florida anytime soon

Romano: Save your money, sports betting wonít be in Florida anytime soon

It is the middle of the day and the beginning of the off-season at Tampa Bay Downs. That means the action is limited to simulcast wagering, and that means the televisions outnumber the bettors.The parimutuel industry is long past its heyday in Americ...
Published: 05/19/18
Son of Crabby Billís founder leaves complex legacy of troubled projects and good deeds

Son of Crabby Billís founder leaves complex legacy of troubled projects and good deeds

SOUTH PASADENA ó Like his father, who founded the Crabby Billís seafood restaurant chain, John Loder Sr. had a larger-than-life personality. That was one reason he dived into the real estate business, becoming a well-known, if at times controversial ...
Published: 05/18/18
Updated: 05/21/18