Florida’s Jobless Rate Up Slightly in August

Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose slightly in August, up 0.1 percentage point from the 6.2 percent rate recorded in July, and 0.2 percentage point higher than the national rate of 6.1 percent.
This according to the latest figures released by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (FDEO) on Friday, Sept. 19.
For Madison County, meanwhile, the August rate remained static at 8.8 percent.
For Jefferson County, the August jobless rate was 5.4 percent, a drop of 0.3 percentage point from July’s 5.7 percent.
 Statewide, the 6.3 percent jobless rate translates into 602,000 jobless Floridians out of a labor force of 9,610,000 — not counting those individuals who have given up the search for work or are underemployed or employed part time.
According to the FDEO, the state’s seasonally adjusted total nonagricultural employment in August was 7,818,500 — an increase of 22,700 jobs over the month.
Seasonally adjusted means the numbers have been purged of seasonal and other factors that could skew the results.
“Compared to August a year ago, the number of jobs in the state was up by 211,200, an increase of 2.8 percent,” the FDEO report states. “Florida’s annual job growth rate has exceeded the nation’s rate since April 2012.”
For Madison County, the 8.8 percent translates into 635 jobless persons out of a labor force of 7,236, compared with 630 jobless persons out of a labor force of 7,160 in July, when the rate was 8.8 percent.
In August 2013, the comparable figures were 668 jobless persons out of a labor force of 7,101, when the unemployment rate was 9.4 percent.
For Jefferson County, the 5.4 percent rate translates into 347 jobless persons out of a labor force of 6,368, compared with 365 jobless persons out of a labor force of 6,383 in July, when the rate was 5.7 percent.
In August 2013, the comparable figures were 416 jobless persons out of a workforce of 6,286, when the unemployment rate was 6.6 percent.
“August was the 49th consecutive month with positive annual job growth after the state lost jobs for over three years,” the FDEO reports.
The industry gaining the most jobs was trade, transportation and utilities, up 44,400 jobs, followed by construction, up 43,500 jobs; professional and business services, up 41,500 jobs; leisure and hospitality, up 29,700 jobs; private education and health services, up 28,000 jobs; financial activities, up 11,300 jobs; manufacturing, up 6,700 jobs; other services, up 4,400 jobs; information, up 1,200 jobs; and government, up 300 jobs.
Monroe County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 3.9 percent, followed by Walton County at 4.0 percent; Okaloosa at 4.9 percent; and St. Johns and Wakulla counties at 5.3 percent.
Hendry County continued to have the state’s highest unemployment rate at 13.1 percent, followed by Flagler County at 9.5 percent; Hamilton County at 9.4 percent; Glades County at 9.1 percent; and Hardee County at 9.0 percent.
Hendry County alone had a double-digit unemployment rate in August.
Of the 22 metro areas in the state, 19 had over-the-year job gains in August, according to the FDEO. The areas with the largest gains were Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, up 36,500 jobs; Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, up 36,700 jobs; and Jacksonville, up 18,000 jobs.
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