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Florida’s jobless rate drops

Florida’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.5 percent in June, down 0.2-percentage point from May’s rate of 5.7 percent. This according to figures released by the Florida Department of Economic Development (FDEO) on Friday, July 17. The U.S. unemployment rate, meanwhile, was 5.3 percent in June, 0.2-percentage point lower than May’s rate of 5.5 percent. In Jefferson County, the jobless rate for June was 6.0 percent, the same as the previous month. And in Madison County, the rate was 6.3 percent, down 0.2-percentage point from the revised rate of 6.5 percent in May. Statewide, 529,000 Floridians were jobless in June out of a labor force of 9,552,000 -- 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 8,070,800 in June -- an increase of 7,000 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 Jefferson County, the 6.0 percent translates into 326 jobless persons out of a labor force of 5,400, compared with 326 jobless persons out of a labor force of 5,408 in May, when the rate was also 6.0 percent. All told, 5,074 people were employed in Jefferson County in June, compared with 5,082 in May. In June 2014, the comparable figures were 353 jobless persons out of a workforce of 5,469 and 5,116 employed when the unemployment rate was 6.5 percent. For Madison County, the 6.3 percent translates into 470 jobless persons out of a labor force of 7,484, compared with 493 jobless persons out of a labor force of 7,616 in May, when the rate was 6.5 percent. All told, 7,014 people were employed in Madison County in June, compared with 7,123 in May. In June 2014, the comparable figures were 573 jobless persons out of a labor force of 7,758 and 7,185 employed when the unemployment rate was 7.4 percent. Statewide, the industry gaining the most jobs was trade, transportation and utilities, up 60,400 jobs; followed by leisure and hospitality, up 53,600 jobs; private education and health services, up 53,300 jobs; professional and business services, up 40,200 jobs; construction, up 25,200 jobs; financial activities, up 14,400 jobs; other services, up 12,400 jobs; manufacturing, up 6,700 jobs; and government, up 1,000 jobs.

The information sector continued to lose jobs over the year; it was down minus 900 jobs. Monroe County continued to have the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 3.6 percent, followed by St. Johns County at 4.0 percent; Okaloosa and Franklin counties at 4.4 percent; and Walton County at 4.5 percent. Hendry County had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 10.3 percent, followed by Hardy County at 7.8 percent; Putnam County at 7.7 percent; Citrus County at 7.6 percent; and Highland County 7.4 percent. Hendry County’s was the only double-digit unemployment rate in June, according to the FDEO.

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