WGCU Radio Staff
Fri September 20, 2013
Florida's Jobless Rate: Good News and Bad News
Florida's unemployment rate dropped 0.1% in August, and now stands at an even 7%. That's although Florida actually lost nearly 500,000 jobs that month.
The official number doesn't count underemployed workers or those who have quit looking for work. But Florida’s jobless rate has dropped 1.6% in the past year and is now at its lowest point since September 2008.
Department of Economic Opportunity spokeswoman Jessica Sims says the state has gained more than 130,000 jobs in the past year, with the transportation and hospitality industries leading the way.
"What’s most important when we talk about labor market statistics is to look at the long term trends, not necessarily the month to month changes", Sims said. "Over the last year, and over the past two-and-a-half years, we have had an annual positive job growth rate."
Florida’s jobless rate is 0.3% below the national number for August, and has stayed below the US rate for the past six months. But jobs in manufacturing and government continue to decline. There are still more than 650,000 Floridians out of work.