Friday, May 17, 2013

Florida Unemployment Rate Drops To 7.2%, Brevard 7.3%

TALLAHASSEE, Florida --  Statewide, Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.2% in April 2013, the lowest since September 2008 when it was 7%, according to figures released by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity today. 

The April rate was down 0.3 percentage point from the March rate of 7.5% and was 1.7 percentage points lower than the year-ago rate of 8.9%. 

There were 680,000 jobless Floridians out of a labor force of 9,411,000.  The U.S. April unemployment rate was 7.5%.  Florida’s unemployment rate was 0.3 percentage point lower than the U.S. rate and was below the national rate for the second consecutive month. 

Florida’s seasonally adjusted total nonagricultural employment was 7,515,400 in April 2013, an increase of 17,000 jobs (+0.2 percent) over the month. The number of jobs in the Sunshine State was up 119,100 from April a year ago, an increase of 1.6%.  Nationally, the number of jobs was up at the same rate of 1.6 percent over the year.

The industry gaining the most jobs was trade, transportation, and utilities (+40,500 jobs, +2.6%). 

Other industries gaining jobs included leisure and hospitality (+34,400 jobs, +3.5%); private education and health services (+19,700 jobs, +1.8%); construction (+15,500 jobs, +4.6%); professional and business services (+14,300 jobs, +1.3%); financial activities (+3,800 jobs, +0.8%); other services (+2,900 jobs, +0.9%); and information (+600 jobs, +0.4%).

All numbers released are known as U-3, which consists of total unemployed, as a percent of the civilian labor force.

Florida Counties With Lowest Unemployment

In April 2013, Monroe County (3.7%) had the state’s lowest unemployment rate, followed by Walton County (4.1%), Okaloosa County (4.6%), Alachua County (4.8%), and Franklin County (5.0%).

Many of the counties with the lowest unemployment rates were those with relatively high proportions of government employment. Strong population growth was also a contributing factor.

Florida Counties With Highest Unemployment

Hendry County had the highest unemployment rate (9.9%) in Florida in April 2013, followed by Flagler County (9.3%), Putnam County (9.0%), St. Lucie County (8.9%), and Miami-Dade County (8.8%).

Hendry County had the highest unemployment rate in the state mainly due to long-term losses in state government jobs.

April 2013 was the first month since May 2008 that all Florida counties hd jobless rates be low 10.0%.  In March, only Hendry County had a double-digit unemployment rate.

Brevard County Unemplyoment

Brevard County's unemployment rate dropped to 7.3% in April 2013 from 7.4% in March 2013, only slightly higher than that of the Florida statewide unemployment rate of 7.2%.  April's Brevard County unemployment rate is 1.8 percentage points lower from a year ago.

In April 2013, total non-agricultural employment in the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville metro area was 246,660.  Out of a labor force of 265,967, there were 19,307 unemployed Brevard County residents in April.

Total non-agricultural employment increased by 2,000 jobs over the year in the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville metro area.

Job gains on the Space Coast were led by mining, logging, and construction; professional and business services; and education and health services (+700 jobs each). Other industries that gained jobs over the year included leisure and hospitality (+400 jobs) and financial activities and other services (+100 jobs each).

Among the industries losing jobs over the year, government (-300 jobs) lost the most, followed by manufacturing and trade, transportation, and utilities (-200 jobs each).


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