Gainesville FL MSA Economic Indicators Report (March 2020)

The COVID19 pandemic quickly evolved from a health crisis to a severe economic one, shuttering many businesses, with dramatic effects specifically in the Leisure and Hospitality industry, and across many other industry sectors, in a nationwide and worldwide effort to slow the spread of the virus.

In the last 4 weeks, the U.S. economy wiped out nearly all the job gains in the last 11 years since the Great Recession of 2008, with more than 22 million Americans filing for unemployment since the pandemic crisis started, reflecting a broad shock to the labor market.

This report includes the first local unemployment data release since the Gainesville MSA started social distancing measures and closure of nonessential businesses to flatten the COVID19 curve. The changes in some of these indicators reflect the initial effects of the pandemic in the economy and the efforts to contain the outbreak. While these numbers are helpful to start having an understanding of the negative impacts to the local economy, the statistics only give us a partial picture, since they only include March 2020, and the numbers are preliminary and subject to revision.

For the state of Florida employment & unemployment report, click HERE. For the Gainesville FL MSA Economic Indicators report, click HERE.

Highlights of the Gainesville MSA report:

  • Unemployment. Gainesville FL MSA not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 3.9% in March 2020, up from the 2.7% rate from February 2020, going up 1.2% in only one month. In March 2020, there were 5,736 unemployed residents in the Gainesville MSA.

  • Employment. Employment in the Gainesville MSA was 142,941 in March 2019, down 2,879 compared to February 2020.
  • Major Industries. 6 out of 10 major industries posted over-the-year gains in March 2020. These numbers do not reflect yet the full impacts of COVID19, and can be revised in the next data release. Over-the-year employment gains were seen in several industries: Mining, Logging, & Construction (3.3%); Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (0.5%); Professional & Business Services (7.3%); Education & Health Services (2.2%); Leisure & Hospitality (1.2%); and, Government (1.1%). Over-the-year losses were seen in Manufacturing (-2.1%). See Page 2 and 3 for more details.
  • It is expected to keep seeing negative effects in local employment in the Leisure and Hospitality industry, with likely declines in Professional and Business Services, Retail Trade, and Construction.

The Alachua County Economic Indicators Report is a publication prepared by Alachua County. This report provides a snapshot of recent changes in the economy of the Gainesville MSA. The MSA is comprised of Alachua County and Gilchrist County. The report draws on official statistics that have been released during the last month. The data published in this publication was gathered from several sources such as Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), National Association of Realtors, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), and Office of Economic & Demographic Research.

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