Lakeland-Winter Haven Jobs Report

December 2020 Jobs Report

Jobs Added

Metro +2,400
  • Month Over Month: +1.0%
  • 3 Month Average: 1,767
  • Year Over Year: -3.1%
State +4,000
  • Month Over Month: 0.0%
  • 3 Month Average: 34,333
  • Year Over Year: -4.6%
National -140,000
  • Month Over Month: -0.1%
  • 3 Month Average: 283,333
  • Year Over Year: -6.2%

Unemployment Rate

Metro 7.4%
  • Month Over Month: +0.3%
  • 3 Month Average: 7.47%
  • Year Over Year: +4.1%
State 6.4%
  • Month Over Month: 0.0%
  • 3 Month Average: 6.67%
  • Year Over Year: +3.6%
National 6.7%
  • Month Over Month: 0.0%
  • 3 Month Average: 6.77%
  • Year Over Year: +3.1%

Uncovering December’s Industry Trends and Looking Ahead

While job growth continues at a slow rate, December has remained relatively steady with November’s rates. 140,000 fewer jobs were added in December compared to November, and unemployment remains the same, currently 6.7%.

Transportation and Warehousing (+46,000), Goods Producing (+93,000), and Retail Trade (+120,500) industries showed the strongest growth. These increases were primarily due to the huge shift in online shopping and e-commerce needs as shoppers continued spending for their holiday needs.

Employment in Professional and Business services increased by 161,000, with a large gain in temporary help services (+68,000). Job growth also occurred in computer systems design and related services (+20,000), other professional and technical services (+11,000), management of companies and enterprises (+11,000), and business support services (+7,000). Overall, this was a great increase over prior month.

At the end of December, job postings and overall recruiting efforts typically decline and the trend after the latest holiday season has been more pronounced than usual. According to this recent article by Patricia Cohen from the New York Times, “Right now, employers are still cautious related to their work force strategy,” said Amy Glaser, Senior Vice President at Adecco.

“One of the biggest trends has been the increase in customer service workers and call center representatives operating from home,” Glaser adds. “Those jobs require greater digital literacy than in the past,” she said, “because individuals must be able to set up their computers and solve problems themselves. There is no tech person sitting down the hallway.”

The COVID-19 Impact Continues

In addition to the Transportation and Warehousing, Goods Producing and Retail Trade industries, Healthcare and Social Assistance also saw growth (+32,000). This was primarily due to the continuing surge in COVID-19 cases across the country as well the release of the COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, our Medical and Science division is seeing high-volume needs for contact tracers, laboratory services assistants and COVID swabbers. At Adecco, we’ve been leading the trend in supporting contact tracing programs for multiple lines of businesses. Overall, we have processed 8.5 million+ COVID specimens, placed 1,100+ contact tracers, and have supported several state-wide programs. Learn more about specific programs here on our website.

While we have seen growth in certain industries, the impact of the pandemic continues to hinder employment in Leisure and Hospitality (-498,000), with three-quarters of the decrease specifically in food services, restaurants and bars (-372,000). Employment also fell in the amusements, gambling, accommodation and recreation industry (-92,000). These declines are likely linked to the government mandated shutdowns across the country in preparation of the busy holiday season in order to encourage social distancing and other safety related precautions.

As we’ve entered the new year, we can only hope that the availability of COVID-19 vaccines will speed the economy’s return to normal. Continuing from Cohen’s New York Times article above, even amongst the vaccine deployment, employers remain wary about hiring. Job postings and hiring typically fall off at the end of December, and the trend after the latest holiday season has been more pronounced than usual. Amy Glaser, Adecco’s Senior Vice President added, “Right now, employers are still cautious related to their workforce strategy. The rebound has been bumpy, and employers have responded in kind, retaining flexibility to increase or reduce their staffing through the use of temporary workers,” Glaser said, “That could mean more people are cycling through jobs.”

With the COVID-19 vaccine top-of-mind and millions already vaccinated, Adecco is monitoring the Center of Disease Control’s (CDC) health and safety updates. For the latest numbers, be sure to visit the CDC website for live count updates on the vaccine distribution.

Moving Forward in Manufacturing

In December, manufacturing employment increased by 38,000, with increases in motor vehicles and parts (+7,000), plastics and rubber products (+7,000), and nonmetallic mineral products (+6,000). While the US manufacturing economy continued its recovery in December, according to the Institute for Supply Management, labor difficulties remain. According to their stats, US manufacturing rose to a reading of 60.7% in December from 57.5% in November. With this data in mind, reading above 50% is considered to indicate expansion, and the improvement from December indicates expansion at a faster pace, which is promising for the manufacturing industry.

“Survey committee members reported that their companies and suppliers continue to operate in reconfigured factories, but absenteeism, short-term shutdowns to sanitize facilities and difficulties in returning and hiring workers are causing strains that are limiting manufacturing growth potential,” said Timothy Fiore, chair of the ISM’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

Looking Ahead in 2021

As we leave 2020 behind and head into the new year, Adecco is staying ahead of finance and industry news to ensure our customers and associates are fully engaged in the latest market trends. Moving into January, we are keeping a close eye on Taxes & Finance specifically, as preparing for 2020 taxes is likely to be more complicated and tedious than previous years due to high unemployment rates, stimulus assistance and many other complications that 2020 delivered.

Many things remain uncertain, but Adecco is here to support your staffing and hiring needs. Flexibility and safety continue to be the highest priority when it comes to hiring and retaining great talent, regardless of industry. We’ve got the expertise, recruiting technology and ready-to-work talent you may need as we conclude 2020 and head into a new year. If you need recruitment, onboarding or other staffing support, we are here to help.

Local Industry Job Growth from the B.L.S.

Finance & Insurance +1,300
  • From Last Month: +0.3%
  • 3 Month Average: 404
  • From Last Year: +1.9%
Telecommunications +100
  • From Last Month: +0.2%
  • 3 Month Average: 48
  • From Last Year: -1.4%
Accommodation & Food Services +15,900
  • From Last Month: +1.9%
  • 3 Month Average: 837
  • From Last Year: -15.4%
Manufacturing +100
  • From Last Month: +0.6%
  • 3 Month Average: 18
  • From Last Year: -4.3%
Retail Trade +500
  • From Last Month: +1.7%
  • 3 Month Average: 29
  • From Last Year: -2.0%
Transportation & Warehousing +12,100
  • From Last Month: +3.8%
  • 3 Month Average: 320
  • From Last Year: -0.3%
Air Transportation +200
  • From Last Month: +0.5%
  • 3 Month Average: 43
  • From Last Year: -6.4%
Transportation Equipment Manufacturing +1,000
  • From Last Month: +2.0%
  • 3 Month Average: 49
  • From Last Year: +3.1%
Chemical Manufacturing +100
  • From Last Month: +0.4%
  • 3 Month Average: 23
  • From Last Year: -4.6%
Goods Producing +300
  • From Last Month: +0.9%
  • 3 Month Average: 34
  • From Last Year: +0.9%
Hospitals +1,100
  • From Last Month: +0.3%
  • 3 Month Average: 317
  • From Last Year: -1.4%
Computer & Electronic Product Manufacturing +200
  • From Last Month: +0.4%
  • 3 Month Average: 47
  • From Last Year: +3.8%

U.S. Job Growth for All Sectors

Local Job Reports cannot vouch for the data or analyses derived from these data after the data have been retrieved from