Friday, June 21, 2013

Florida Unemployment Rate Drops To 7.1%, Brevard County Rises To 7.4%

TALLAHASSEE, Florida --  Statewide, Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.1% in May 2013, the lowest since September 2008 when it was 7%, according to figures released by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity today. 

The May unemployment rate was slightly down from the April rate of 7.2% and was 1.7 percentage points lower than the year-ago rate of 8.8%.  There were 671,000 jobless Floridians out of a labor force of 9,427,000 in May.  Florida was among the top three states to lose jobs in May.

Nationwide, the U.S. May unemployment rate was 7.6%.  Florida’s unemployment rate was a half-of-a-percentage point lower than the U.S. rate and was below the national rate for the third consecutive month.  According to a Gallup poll released today, 28% of Americans think it is a good time to find a job while 68% say it is a bad time. 

The industry gaining the most jobs in Florida was trade, transportation, and utilities (+39,300 jobs, +2.6%).  Other industries gaining jobs included leisure and hospitality (+31,300 jobs, +3.2%); private education and health services (+22,200 jobs, +2%); construction (+9,600 jobs, +2.8%); professional and business services (+23,100 jobs, +2.2%); financial activities (+2,600 jobs, +0.5%); other services (+4,200 jobs, +1.3%); and information (+61,300 jobs, +1%).

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 May 2013, Monroe County (4%) had the state’s lowest unemployment rate, followed by Walton County (4.1%), Okaloosa County (4.8%), Franklin County (5.2%), and Alachua County (5.3%).

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

Florida Counties With Highest Unemployment

Hendry County had the highest unemployment rate (11.1%) in Florida in May 2013, followed by Flagler County (9.5%), St. Lucie County (9.3%), Putnam County (9.2%), and Dixie County and Miami-Dade County at 8.8% each.

Hendry County had the highest unemployment rate in the state mainly due to seasonal declines in agriculture and long-term losses in state government jobs.  In May, only Hendry County had a double-digit unemployment rate. 

Brevard County Unemplyoment

Brevard County's unemployment rate rose to 7.4% in May 2013 from 7.3% in April 2013.  The Space Coast unemployment rate continues to remain higher than that of the Florida statewide rate.  May's Brevard County unemployment rate is 1.8 percentage points lower from a year ago.

The reason for the increase in Brevard County unemployment was that the increase in the labor force  (270,363 in May versus 266,265 in April) outpaced the increase in jobs (250,309 in May versus 246,816 in April).

There were 20,053 unemployed Brevard County residents in May versus 19,449 in April.

Job gains on the Space Coast were led by professional and business services (+2,200 jobs), followed by mining, logging, construction, and education and health services at (+700 jobs each).  Manufacturing was the only industry to lose jobs at (-300).


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