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Florida’s jobless rate down to 5.6 percent

The Florida Department of Economic Development (FDEO) reports that the state’s seasonably adjusted unemployment rate was 5.6 percent in April, down 0.1 percentage point from the previous month. The U.S. unemployment rate, meanwhile, was 5.4 percent in April, also down 0.1 percentage point from March. These latest jobless figures show Jefferson County’s rate at 5.6 percent, down from the revised rate of 6.0 percent in March; and Madison County’s rate is shown at 6.2 percent, down from a revised rate of 6.5 percent last month. Statewide, according to the FDEO, 542,000 Floridians were jobless in April out of a labor force of 9,639,000 -- not counting persons who had given up the job search, were underemployed, or employed part time. Florida’s seasonally adjusted total nonagricultural employment, meanwhile, was 8,045,500 in April -- an increase of 24,500 jobs over the month, according to the FDEO. Seasonally adjusted means the numbers have been purged of seasonal and other factors that could skew the results. The numbers for the individual counties, however, are not seasonally adjusted.

For Madison County, the 6.2 percent translates into 466 jobless persons out of a labor force of 7,558, compared with 491 jobless persons out of a labor force of 7,572 in March, when the rate was 6.5 percent. All told, 7,092 people were employed in Madison County in April, compared with 7,081 in March. In April 2014, the comparable figures were 548 jobless persons out of a labor force of 7,741 and 7,193 employed when the unemployment rate was 7.1 percent. For Jefferson County, the 5.6 percent translates into 307 jobless persons out of a labor force of 5,481, compared with 332 jobless persons out of a labor force of 5,516 in March when the rate was 6.0 percent. All told, 5,174 people were employed in Jefferson County in April, compared with 5,184 in March. In April 2014, the comparable figures were 329 jobless persons out of a workforce of 5,515 and 5,186 employed when the unemployment rate was 6.0 percent. Statewide, the industry gaining the most jobs continued to be leisure and hospitality, up 55,700 jobs; followed by professional and business services, up 52,900 jobs; trade, transportation and utilities, up 50,100 jobs; private education and health services, up 45,800 jobs; construction, up 32,200 jobs; other services, up 15,100 jobs; financial activities, up 14,800 jobs; government, up 6,100 jobs; and manufacturing, up 5,500 jobs.

The information sector continued to lose jobs over the year; it was down minus 400 jobs. Monroe County continued to have the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 3.6 percent, followed by St. Johns County at 3.7 percent; Alachua and Okaloosa counties at 4.3 percent each; and Santa Rosa, Wakulla and Walton at 4.4 percent each. Citrus and Putnam counties had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 7.2 percent, followed by Hendry County at 7.1 percent; Sumter County at 7.0 percent; and Gadsden and Highland counties at 6.7 percent. No county had a double-digit unemployment rate in April, according to the FDOE.

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