Regional Statistics

Overview of the CareerSource Heartland Region

Not Seasonally Adjusted September 17, 2021

  • The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Heartland region (DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, and Okeechobee counties) was 5.7 percent in August 2021. This rate was 1.1 percentage points lower than the region’s year ago rate of 6.8 percent. The labor force was 78,891, up 5,742 (+7.8 percent) over the year. There were 4,478 unemployed residents in the region.
  • DeSoto County had the lowest unemployment rate (4.3 percent) in the CareerSource Heartland region followed by Okeechobee County (4.9 percent), Hardee County (6.0 percent), and Highlands County (6.5 percent).
  • Employment by industry in the CareerSource Heartland region totaled 54,996 jobs in March 2021 (the latest available data). Industry employment decreased by -1.4 percent over the year.
  • The annual job growth rates for construction (+13.4 percent); professional and business services (+3.4 percent); and trade, transportation, and utilities (+0.3 percent) exceeded those of the state.
  • The CareerSource Heartland region’s industry employment decreased by 774 jobs over the year in March 2021. Three of the 11 industries added jobs over the year. The industry that gained the most jobs was construction (+436 jobs).
  • The industry with the largest job loss over the year was leisure and hospitality (-318 jobs).
  • In August 2021 nonagricultural employment in the Sebring MSA was 25,500, an increase of 1,100 jobs (+4.5 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)
Aug-21Jul-21 Aug-20
CareerSource Heartland
DeSoto County4.34.85.2
Hardee County6.0 6.97.0
Highlands County6.56.88.0
Okeechobee County4.95.25.6
United States5.35.78.5
Employment by Industry
Covered by Unemployment Compensation
(not seasonally adjusted)
Mar-21 Mar-20Change% Change
Total Employment8,709,1148,978,144-269,030-3.0
Natural Resources and Mining77,29478,833-1,539-2.0
Construction 572,419570,3942,0250.4
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities1,790,4901,797,830-7,340-0.4
• Wholesale Trade351,265355,237-3,972-1.1
• Retail Trade1,072,5211,095,306-22,785-2.1
• Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities366,704347,28719,4175.6
Information 134,110137,387-3,277-2.4
Financial Activities 602,270593,8068,4641.4
Professional and Business Services 1,414,8041,389,70125,0231.8
Education and Health Services 1,319,0431,341,736-22,693-1.7
Leisure and Hospitality 1,068,4681,265,554-197,086-15.6
Other Services 261,925282,100-20,175-7.2
Government 1,078,1221,110,094-31,972-2.9
Population20192018Change% Change
CareerSource Heartland 213,327211,1232,2041.0
DeSoto County38,00137,3686331.7
Hardee County26,93727,168-231-0.9
Highlands County106,221104,9331,2881.2
Okeechobee County42,16841,6545141.2
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

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…