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Florida’s jobless rates drop in April

Florida’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 4.8 percent in April, down 0.1-percentage point from March’s rate of 4.9 percent, and 0.2-percentage point below the national rate of 5.0 percent.

This is according to the latest figures released by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (FDEO).

The April figures show Madison County with a 5.2 percent unemployment rate in April, down from the revised March rate of 5.3 percent (originally reported as 5.1 percent). For Jefferson County, the unemployment rate was 4.8 percent in April, down from March’s rate of 5.1 percent.

Statewide, 472,000 Floridians were jobless in April out of a labor force of 9,801,000 — 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 8,283,900 in April — an increase of 31,100 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 5.2 percent translates into 378 jobless persons out of a labor force of 7,288, compared with 390 jobless persons out of a labor force of 7,388 in March, when the rate was 5.3 percent. All told, 6,910 people were employed in Madison County in April, compared to 6,998 in March.

In April of 2015, the comparable figures were 461 jobless persons out of a labor force of 7,556 and 7,095 employed when the unemployment rate was 6.1 percent.

For Jefferson County, the 4.8 percent translates into 262 jobless persons out of a labor force of 5,407, compared to 279 jobless persons out of a labor force of 5,460 in March, when the rate also was 5.1 percent.  All told, 5,145 people were employed in Jefferson County in April, compared to 5,181 in March.

In April of 2015, the comparable figures were 300 jobless persons out of a workforce of 5,431 and 5,131 employed when the unemployment rate was 5.5 percent.

Statewide, the industry gaining the most jobs were education and health services, up 47,100 jobs; followed by leisure and hospitality, up 45,100 jobs; professional and business services, up 43,700 jobs; trade, transportation and utilities, up 41,500 jobs; construction, up 30,100 jobs; financial activities, up 20,200 jobs; total government, up 10,200 jobs; manufacturing, up 9,400 jobs; and other services, up 8,500 jobs.

The only major industry that continued to lose jobs over the year was information, down 1,300 jobs.

Monroe County continued to have the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 3.0 percent, followed by Hamilton County at 3.2 percent and St. Johns County at 3.4 percent.

Hendry County continued to have the state’s highest unemployment rate at 7.0 percent, followed by Sumter County at 6.6 percent and Citrus County at 6.3 percent.

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