LABELLE, FL. -- Florida labor statistics for Hendry county continue to
indicate unemployment rates at double the state average. Hendry county's
unemployment rate for November was 7.2% compared to a rate across the state
averaging 3.5%. The total civilian labor force in Hendry County for
November, 2005 was 17,850 of which 16,557 were employed and 1,293 were
unemployed. Average wages in Hendry again are lower than average statewide
as well. The average weekly wage for Hendry County in 2005 was $479. This
would be equivalent to $11.98 per hour or $24,908 per year, assuming a
40-hour week worked the year around. Florida's average weekly wage is $678.
Observers of the county's economic woes say most of the unemployed may be
mostly low skilled workers without low educational skills, and that if
qualified construction workers could be trained or lured to move to Hendry,
that might help change the area's status as one of the poorest areas in
Florida. Because of the summer storms there are hundreds on homes still
needing repair work while a mini-boom continues in the Port LaBelle area as
new homes are being built.