Regional Statistics

Overview of the CareerSource Heartland Region

Not Seasonally Adjusted January 20, 2023

  • The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Heartland region (DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, and Okeechobee counties) was 2.9 percent in December 2022. This rate was 0.4 percentage point lower than the region’s year ago rate of 3.3 percent. The region’s December 2022 unemployment rate was 0.7 percentage point above the state rate of 2.2 percent. The labor force was 76,572, up 401 (+0.5 percent) over the year. There were 2,237 unemployed residents in the region.
  • Okeechobee County had the lowest unemployment rate (2.2 percent) in the CareerSource Heartland region followed by DeSoto County (2.4 percent), Hardee County (2.5 percent), and Highlands County (3.6 percent).
  • Employment by industry in the CareerSource Heartland region totaled 55,316 jobs in September 2022 (the latest available data). CareerSource Heartland region’s employment increased by 1,080 jobs (+2.0 percent) over the year.
  • The Government (-0.1 percent) industry grew as fast or faster in the region than statewide over the year.
  • The industries gaining jobs over the year were Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+434 jobs); Education and Health Services (+408 jobs); Professional and Business Services (+318 jobs); Financial Activities (+65 jobs); Leisure and Hospitality (+36 jobs); and Other Services (+9 jobs).
  • The industries losing jobs over the year were Natural Resources and Mining (-118 jobs); Construction (-62 jobs); Manufacturing (-46 jobs); Information (-23 jobs); and Government (-9 jobs).

Sebring Metro Area:

  • In December 2022, nonagricultural employment in the Sebring MSA was 25,500, a decrease of 100 jobs (-0.4 percent) over the year.
  • The Government industry was unchanged in jobs over the year.

Note: All data are subject to revision.
Source: Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Bureau of Workforce Statistics and Economic Research.

Unemployment Rates (%)
(not seasonally adjusted)
Dec-22Nov-22 Dec-21
CareerSource Heartland
DeSoto County2.43.02.4
Hardee County2.53.42.9
Highlands County3.64.23.9
Okeechobee County2.22.72.9
United States3.34.43.7
Employment by Industry
Covered by Unemployment Compensation
(not seasonally adjusted)
Sep-22 Sep-21Change% Change
Total Employment11,403,3168,919,3932,483,92327.8
Natural Resources and Mining64,41665,224-808-1.2
Construction 605,304577,77927,5254.8
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities3,911,0001,833,8552,077,145113.3
• Wholesale Trade378,631357,65820,9735.9
• Retail Trade3,119,4011,090,9792,028,422185.9
• Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities412,968385,21827,7507.2
Information 153,444141,71111,6738.2
Financial Activities 658,000620,13537,8656.1
Professional and Business Services 1,589,4811,475,316114,1657.7
Education and Health Services 1,396,9331,325,54771,3865.4
Leisure and Hospitality 1,237,2771,146,21391,0647.9
Other Services 275,677265,7919,8863.7
Government 1,070,4591,071,083-624-0.1
Population20212020Change% Change
CareerSource Heartland 203,395200,2563,1391.6
DeSoto County34,40834,0803281.0
Hardee County25,42525,3131120.4
Highlands County103,296101,2222,0742.0
Okeechobee County40,26639,6416251.6
Average Annual Wage20212020Change% Change
CareerSource Heartland $41,239$38,942$2,297 5.9
DeSoto County$43,090$40,689$2,401 5.9
Hardee County$39,744$37,724$2,0215.4
Highlands County$40,528$37,924$2,6046.9
Okeechobee County$42,341$40,610$1,7324.3

“We highly recommend using the CareerSource Heartland for any hiring events.”


Teresa Aviles
SEB Administrative Coordinator
GulfCoast Supply & Manufacturing

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Teresa Aviles
Gulf Coast

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“… I appreciate all the help from you (CareerSource Heartland) in a time when there was no hope…CareerSource Heartland drove in and fixed it like a superhero!  Thank you for all the hard work… This job fair hit big – our companies in Texas and Florida have been calls all morning asking me how did I make this happen?!  Even though I would like to take credit, it was all the work of our local career center.   I advised them to reach out to their community CareerSources, it is very much worth it. See you all very soon and thank you!”

Sincerely ,  Myesha Smith, Manager, Florida Pop, LLC, DBA Popeyes Chicken

Myesha Smith (Popeyes)
Popeyes Chicken

Anything I do say about the Career Source Heartland in Okeechobee will be very downplayed to the actual experience we encountered. Not only were they exceptional in helping us achieve our results for talented associates, but they were also well organized and on top of everything. Although I felt like I may be a burden they really went the extra mile to make me feel like part of their family and allowed me and my team to be ourselves and work closely together to make sure we were all very comfortable. Nothing I do or can say about them will ever amount to the wonderful experience I have had and will continue to have moving forward. They are the greatest resource in helping find you qualified candidates. With this being another store opening/market opening for me, this has by far been the easiest in terms of finding a staff. They help reduce the stress one may find when trying to find candidates to interview. I could keep going on how wonderful and great they were but it’s an experience and a great resource every business should try, they won’t regret it!!!!


Thank You

Andrew Stephens
TGM Okeechobee FL

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CareerSource Heartland helped me, I know that they can help you…