LABELLE, Fla. - Hendry County is number one in the state in a very, very bad category. The Southwest Florida County leads the state in unemployment at 17.9%. More than seven points higher than the state average.
At the Labelle office of Southwest Florida Works, Matthew Kindermann has a lot of clients who are looking for work.
"I have people that are on unemployment for a week and have a job and I have people that are unemployed for a year," said Kindermann.
The ongoing problem is two fold: For one there aren't a lot of job openings and the few out there often require special training.
County officials say the numbers will improve when the citrus season starts in the coming months. But they admit the current numbers are unsustainable.
"It's way too high of a number for a small community like this," said Maureen Jordan, President of the Labelle Chamber of Commerce.
"We have had some businesses go under because of (high unemployment) because there's not any money going through the community.
Labelle Mayor Paul Tuletti is hopeful the bad news will inspire a potential job creator to invest in the town. He says the city and county's main job is to highlight the amenities in the area to attract businesses.