The recession that started in 2007 has been one of the deepest in history, and Florida was both a leader of the recession and one of the hardest hit states due to the vulnerability of our economy to the housing market crash. #
In the last two years we have seen historically high levels of unemployment and underemployment, reductions to hours for those who still have jobs, and we are beginning to see an impact on wages as well. As a result, poverty and income inequality have increased in the state. #
As The Florida Independent reported in July, residents of Miami neighborhoods like Overtown and Liberty City “are very familiar with the depth of the current crisis, which encompasses the lack of affordable housing, quality jobs and adequate education.” #
- African-Americans had the highest unemployment rate, averaging 15.4% in 2009, compared to 11.6% for Hispanics and 8.9% for Non-Hispanic Whites. African Americans also had the highest increase in unemployment, adding 7 percentage points, compared to 4.2 percentage points and 3.8 percentage points respectively.
- By April 2010, Florida was missing over 900,000 jobs.
- Workers who have managed to keep their jobs are on average working fewer hours. Average weekly hours per employee fell from 35.4 in 2007 to 35.0 in 2009.
- Underemployment, which includes people who are not working enough hours and who are discouraged from looking for work, has risen from an average of 8.0% in 2007 to 18.4% in 2009, or almost one in five workers.
The report also indicates that by 2009 the state’s two major metropolitan areas “experienced the 2nd and 3rd highest rate of growth in cost of living for the past 10 years out of the biggest metropolitan areas in the country.” #