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Palm Coast Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016 3 years ago

Flagler County reports declining unemployment, rising young adult population

Also: County sets millage rate
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

Flagler County’s young adult population is growing, and unemployment is declining.

The county, which had an unemployment rate of almost 11% in January 2012 and in 2010 had the highest unemployment rate in the state, now has an unemployment rate of about 5.5% and is ranked 21st in the state, Flagler County Economic Development Director Helga van Eckert told county commissioners at an Oct. 3 commission meeting. 

“The unemployment rate continues to go down, while our workforce in our general population continues to group,” she said. “Jobs are being created at a faster pace than we have new people coming in, and that’s why we’re still seeing the decrease in unemployment. … We’re at a pretty healthy rate right now. … We’re in the 5s.”

Much lower, she said and the county wouldn’t have enough of a workforce to accommodate businesses moving into the community.  

The county’s wages are still lower than the statewide and national average. “We’re working to bring that wage up based on the types of jobs we’re looking to bring into the community,” van Eckert said. “But for the time being, it actually helps us to recruit businesses. So, we’re taking advantage of it while we have the ability to say that, but at the same time working to bring that wage up.”

The average individual income in Flagler County is $26,748 per year, and the average household income is $46,644 per year, according to the Department of Economic Opportunity’s quarterly report.

The county’s population of millennials and members of Generation Z has also been growing faster over the past five years than that of surrounding areas, she said. 

“Ours is actually growing at a rate of 11% per year right now, which is a very strong number,” van Eckert said. 

Flagler County also has a high percentage of adults 45-69 years old: 36%, according to the quarterly report. 

To view the report, click here

Flagler County’s biggest employers:

Flagler Schools: 1,069 employees
Florida Hospital Flagler: 1,057
SeaRay Boats: 740
Palm Coast Data: 721
Publix Supermarkets: 690
Hammock Beach Resort: 467
City of Palm Coast (government): 303
Bloomin’ Brands (restaurant company): 290
Flagler County (government): 280
Flagler County Sheriff’s Office: 270 

County sets millage rate

The Flagler County Commission voted at a final budget meeting Sept. 29 to adopt a final millage rate of 8.6317 mills, or $8.63 per $1,000 of taxable value, for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

The current total millage rate is 8.4668. The adopted rate portion going to the the general fund — 8.1167 mills —  is 6.30% over the rolled back rate of 7.6354. Property values are expected to increase 6.2% in Flagler County, giving a total taxable value of $7,436,396,935. The total taxable value in 2015-2016 was $7,004,726,021.

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