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Florida Has Blue Collar Jobs, But People Aren't Scrambling To Apply

Florida's latest jobs report shows that the unemployment rate is decreasing and ranks below the national average.

While the state's biggest industry — tourism — is still hurting, Florida's economy has gained in one sector: blue-collar jobs like warehousing, delivery services, and home construction.

Wall Street Journal reporter Sarah Chaney Cambon recently reported on a nationwide boom in blue collar jobs. She said in Florida and other tourism-centric states, employers are having a hard time filling jobs.

“A lot of the people who were laid off from the tourism industry are not necessarily looking to change occupations and go into these blue collar sectors,” she said.

“The consensus among economists seems to be that you're going to see these jobs continue to grow, but at a slower pace,” Cambon said.

“Because as the economy reopens more people are going to be spending more at restaurants and they're going to be going out more.”

She adds that there are several areas where demand for jobs will continue to improve:

Home construction and E-commerce, which boomed during the pandemic and fueled a need for truck drivers and warehouse workers.

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Bradley George comes to WUSF from Atlanta, where he was a reporter, host, and editor at Georgia Public Broadcasting. While in Atlanta, he reported for NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and The Takeaway. His work has been recognized by PRNDI, the Georgia Associated Press, and the Atlanta Press Club. Prior to his time in Georgia, Bradley worked at public radio stations in Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina.