The jobless numbers improved slightly in March in southwest Florida. But the encouraging signs may not last, because many of the extra jobs came in the hospitality industry, which is notorious for down-sizing after peak tourist season.
"Sure we had a decent season and a good March. But now the snowbirds are leaving, and we are just struggling to hold on to the empoyees we have," said Bonnie Grunberg, owner of the Oasis Restaurant in Ft. Myers. "We may have to let some people go. We need *big job growth, not slight growth!"
Richard Behn of Geo's restaurant in Cape Coral agrees. "We are cutting back hours and days. So far, no layoffs. But it could happen. Our people realize, it's that time of the year."
Unemployment in Lee dropped from 14% in Feb. to 13.5 in March. The jobless rates also eased a bit in Collier and Charlotte counties.