The hiring demand that has driven Lee County's unemployment to a five-year low is forecast to remain among the strongest in the nation through the first quarter of 2014, according to Manpower Inc, a national survey company. Nearly one in four emolyers, 23%, expect to add employees from January through March, while only 3% expect to cut jobs. That adds up to a new outlook of 20%, which ranked third in expected hiring in the entire nation.
UNEMPLOYMENT: continued to fall across Southwest Florida in November, with Lee County's rate of 6.2% the lowest it has been in nearly six years, according to Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity. Lee's rate was down from 6.5% in October and 8.2% a year ago (that's a substantial drop in one year). Florida's unemployment rate also dropped to 6.4% from 6.7% in October and 8% a year ago.