Local experts say Hurricane Michael hasn't really affected unemployment rate

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Hurricane Michael negatively impacted Bay County in many ways. When it comes to the unemployment rate, that's a different story.

Local business still in need of workers after Hurricane Michael. (WJHG/WECP)

"We haven't really seen much fluctuation with the unemployment rate. It's actually fairly consistent with the April numbers to last year," said Career Source Gulf Coast Communication Coordinator Brittany Rock.

Rock said job seekers have more opportunities since the storm and many already have a job.

"Back since last October, many employers were hiring and that need is still increasing. We also have the seasonal jobs which are on top of those jobs employers are still hiring for," said Rock.

However, many local employers say they're having a tougher time finding help.

"There is not as many people out there applying for jobs and some of them have very specific restrictions on what they're able to work as far as hours and time," said Coconut Creek Family Fun Park Operations Manager Laura Webber.

Rock said one of the reasons why they're having trouble finding workers is the lack of affordable housing.

"A lot of the housing was destroyed after the hurricane. So people had to relocate and move over to the beach. So until that housing market comes back, we're not gonna see all that workforce recover," explained Rock.

The hiring process is more competitive for businesses. Employers are offering higher wages to attract more workers.

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