Statewide, it ballooned from 3% in 2006 to a peak of 12.3% in February 2010. Though it’s backed off, it remains in double-digit territory at 11.2%.
"Officially"— though official numbers understate the problem. Illegal immigrants, some 4.5% of Florida’s population, aren’t counted; the long term unemployed and aging workers are regularly purged, even if they’re still looking for work.
This in a state already confronted with the worst of the coming healthcare/taxation crunch. It has the second oldest population in the nation and, as its citizens retire, their earnings fall off, causing tax revenues to drop. At the same time, healthcare bills rise, stressing social service budgets. Florida is ground zero for Baby Boomer demographics. With 600 seniors for every 1000 workers now, and the number trending inexorably higher, soon every employed person in the state will essentially have to adopt one senior, to care for out of his or her paycheck.
Housing? Naturally, rising unemployment amplifies the difficulties of maintaining home ownership. With further negative effects from the oil, we can only expect the situation to worsen. A tsunami of defaults and foreclosures—and bank failures—would not be a surprise.
Florida is mortgaged to the hilt.
It ranks second only to California in total securitized non-agency mortgage loans,10% of the national total. Of those, half are 60 days or more delinquent, or 16% of all such mortgage delinquencies in the country, the highest such ratio anywhere. The state is full of retirees trying to live on modest incomes while hanging on to their homes. Unsurprisingly, this has led to a disproportionate amount of at-risk loans. 85% of the statewide pool is rated Alt-A or Subprime.