Unemployment in Sarasota and Manatee counties was up considerably in January from the revised December rate, as the leisure and hospitality sector continued to suffer significant losses.

The unemployment rate for Sarasota-Manatee hit 4.4% in January 2021, up from December’s revised 3.3% rate and up from 3.6% in January of last year. Sarasota County’s unemployment rate was 4.3% and Manatee’s was 4.4%, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. 

Sarasota-Manatee had 15,986 unemployed residents in the region in January, data show, and the labor force was 366,283, down 1.9% year-over-year. 

The leisure and hospitality sector in the region and in the state as a whole continued to suffer because of the pandemic. The industry was down 8,200 jobs in Sarasota-Manatee from last year, and down 284,100 jobs statewide.