The unemployment rate going up to 5.8% in June from 5% in May in Volusia County doesn’t look good, but it’s fairly meaningless.

The state labor agency, using its usual information, is estimating the usual seasonal changes occurred and, with schools out for the summer, the number of people unemployed went up from 13,083 in May to 15,061 in June in Volusia. The number of employed workers stayed about the same with 245,650 in June and 245,579 in May, but the labor force also went up to 260,711 in June from 258,662 in May and so you get the higher jobless rate.

In case you’re curious, the unemployment rate is greatly improved from 11% in June 2020 when 26,822 workers were unemployed out of a labor force of 244,357 in the county. We can pretty much throw out the numbers during the peak pandemic months. They are an aberration and not indicative of the actual economy.

The non-agricultural jobs report for the Volusia-Flagler area mirrored the unemployment report with total jobs at 200,400 in June, down from 202,800 in May, but up from 193,400 in June 2020.

We won’t get a clear picture of how much the economy was recovering in Volusia until the next Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages report, but the first quarter report won’t be out until September.

Until then, the estimates probably will continue to show improvement from last year, but exactly how much isn’t sure.


Business activity went a little crazy after we got through celebrating the 4th of July, but first we’ll start with passenger traffic in June at Daytona Beach International Airport. The county-owned and -operated airport reported passenger traffic of 59,202 in June compared to 11,247 in June 2020. Carriers experienced a load factor of 91%, meaning the planes flying out of DBIA were nearly full on every flight.


There are several commercial real estate transactions to report, starting with a Celebration investor buying the CVS Pharmacy property at 2400 Enterprise Road in Orange City for $8.75 million. A South Carolina investment firm bought the Popeye's Chicken property at 2561 Enterprise Road in Orange City for $2.27 million. Halifax Health bought the land for a medical development at Oakwater Lane and Williamson Boulevard in Port Orange for $1.725 million.

A Hawaiian investor bought the office/warehouse strip center at 707 W. Park Ave. in Edgewater for $1.25 million. Motorcycle racer Ryan Kerr bought the industrial property at 435 Air Park Road in Edgewater for $1.1 million. Puckett Ferneries bought Lynn-Dale Ferneries properties in DeLeon Springs and Pierson for about $855,000. A New Smyrna Beach businessman bought the Donnie's Donuts property at 1112 Canal St. in NSB for $140,000.


A lot of plans hit the drawing board with the big one for site work at Avalon Park, the massive development south of State Road 40 in Daytona Beach. Another big one to keep an eye on is preliminary plans were submitted to resurrect 1,634-acre South Village project, across State Road 44 from Venetian Bay in New Smyrna Beach.

Plans submitted for site work for 10-acre Phase 7 of Parc Hill in Orange City. A car wash was proposed to replace the restaurant building at 1500 W. International Speedway Blvd. in Daytona Beach. Plans were submitted a classic car storage facility at 3704 Nova Road in Port Orange. Plans were submitted for Parramore's RV Resort with 92 RV spaces and parking along Camp South Moon Road in the Volusia County area of Astor. Plans were submitted for Phase 2 of Pictona in Holly Hill, which adds a multi-purpose building, 25 pickleball courts and parking.

Plans submitted for Rolling Hills with 146 residential lots along Mooneyham Drive, just east of Sugar Mill, in New Smyrna Beach. Plans were submitted for a Heartland Dental office at Halifax Plantation in Ormond Beach. Plans were submitted for second phase of Integrated LPGA along LPGA Blvd., south of Municipal Stadium, with 278 residential lots. A storage facility with 2, 9,000-square-foot buildings and 7,500-square-foot office planned at 3630 E. International Speedway Blvd. in DeLand.

This report is based on plans filed with cities or the St. Johns River Water Management District.


On a final note, some big doings in the Down Under area of Port Orange. The city issued a building permit for demolition of the former DJ’s Deck kitchen building and a bait store at 79 Dunlawton Ave. A temporary structure will be placed there for the kitchen while the parking lot is reconfigured and a building is constructed for the restaurant. Renovations at 59 Dunlawton Ave. for the Dunes Brewery are nearing completion, and according to the property owner, the brewery anticipates opening in the Fall. Dunes is between Jimmy Hula’s and the Dairy Bar.

Managing Editor Cecil G. Brumley has been tracking business and the economy in Volusia County for more than 24 years. Contact him at (no hyphens) or follow him on Twitter @cecilbrumley.

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