Regional Statistics

Overview of the CareerSource Heartland Region

Not Seasonally Adjusted April 15, 2022

  • The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Heartland region (DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, and Okeechobee counties) was 3.2 percent in March 2022. This rate was 2.1 percentage points lower than the region’s year ago rate of 5.3 percent. The region’s March 2022 unemployment rate was 0.5 percentage point higher than the state rate of 2.7 percent. The labor force was 77,208, up 601 (+0.8 percent) over the year. There were 2,437 unemployed residents in the region.
  • DeSoto County had the lowest unemployment rate (2.3 percent) in the CareerSource Heartland region followed by Okeechobee County (2.7 percent), Hardee County (2.9 percent), and Highlands County (3.9 percent).
  • Employment by industry in the CareerSource Heartland region totaled 54,190 jobs in September 2021 (the latest available data). Industry employment increased by +3.7 percent over the year.
  • The annual job growth rates for construction (+12.2 percent) and professional and business services (+9.8 percent) exceeded those of the state.
  • The CareerSource Heartland region’s industry employment increased by 1,946 jobs over the year in September 2021. Nine of the 11 industries added jobs over the year. The industry that gained the most jobs was leisure and hospitality (+636 jobs).
  • The industry with the largest job loss over the year was government (-214 jobs).
  • In March 2022 nonagricultural employment in the Sebring MSA was 25,300, a decrease of 200 jobs (-0.8 percent) 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)
Jan-22Dec-21 Jan-21
CareerSource Heartland
DeSoto County3.12.45.1
Hardee County3.82.96.0
Highlands County4.93.97.7
Okeechobee County3.42.95.1
United States4.43.76.8
Employment by Industry
Covered by Unemployment Compensation
(not seasonally adjusted)
Sep-21 Sep-20Change% Change
Total Employment8,908,5078,337,197571,3106.9
Natural Resources and Mining65,67262,3243,3485.4
Construction 577,913559,45518,4583.3
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities1,831,3031,726,092105,2116.1
• Wholesale Trade356,736338,46918,2675.4
• Retail Trade1,090,4661,052,86737,5993.6
• Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities384,101334,75649,34514.7
Information 141,399128,28413,11510.2
Financial Activities 619,533584,04735,4866.1
Professional and Business Services 1,475,3551,346,072129,2839.6
Education and Health Services 1,321,2071,279,70241,5053.2
Leisure and Hospitality 1,144,560941,253203,30721.6
Other Services 265,004250,45414,5505.8
Government 1,071,3831,080,288-8,905-0.8
Population20202019Change% Change
CareerSource Heartland 214,278212,65816200.8
DeSoto County38,52037,8216991.8
Hardee County26,82226,806160.1
Highlands County106,639105,8907490.7
Okeechobee County42,29742,1411560.4
Average Annual Wage20202019Change% Change
CareerSource Heartland $38,946$36,404$2,542 7.0
DeSoto County$40,762$37,921$2,841 7.5
Hardee County$37,751$35,948$1,8035.0
Highlands County$37,906$35,661$2,2456.3
Okeechobee County$40,597$37,225$3,3729.1

“… 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

Wawa Logo

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