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Local: Jobless rate rises locally as state’s rate drops

Lazaro Aleman: Greene Publishing, Inc.

Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.1 percent in June, another 0.2 percentage point drop from 4.3 percent in May and 0.3 percentage point lower than the national rate of 4.4 percent.

The 4.1 percent rate is the lowest that it’s been in Florida since June 2007, right before the start of the Great Recession.

In Madison County, the jobless rate rose to 4.7 percent, up from the 4.2 percent recorded in May. In Jefferson County, the rate rose to 4.5 percent in June, from May’s rate of 4.2 percent.

These are the latest released statistics from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (FDEO).

Statewide, 419,000 Floridians were unemployed in June out of a labor force of 10,138,000, not counting persons who had given up the job search, were underemployed, or employed part time. Florida’s seasonally adjusted total nonagricultural employment was 8,602,700 in June, an increase of 19,400 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 4.7 percent rate translates into 343 jobless persons out of a labor force of 7,245 in June, compared with 309 jobless persons out of a labor force of 7,333 in May, when the rate was 4.2 percent. All told, 6,902 people were employed in Madison County in June, compared to 7,024 in May. In June 2016, the comparable figures were 404 jobless persons out of a labor force of 7,342 and 6,938 employed when the unemployment rate was 5.5 percent.

For Jefferson County, the 4.5 percent rate translates into 246 jobless persons out of a labor force of 5,525 in June, compared to 232 jobless persons out of a labor force of 5,538 in May, when the rate was 4.2 percent. All told, 5,279 people were employed in Jefferson County in June, compared to 5,306 in May. In June 2016, the comparable figures were 297 jobless persons out of a workforce of 5,368 and 5,071 employed when the unemployment rate was 5.5 percent.

Statewide, the industry gaining the most jobs continued to be professional and business services, up 47,800 jobs; followed by education and health services, up 40,300 jobs; trade, transportation and utilities, up 35,600 jobs; leisure and hospitality, up 33,500 jobs; construction, up 32,400 jobs; other services, up 17,400 jobs; manufacturing, up 10,900 jobs; financial activities, up 10,800 jobs; and government, up 10,800 jobs. The information industry was the only industry to lose jobs, registering 700 lost jobs over the year.

Monroe County continued to claim the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.8 percent, followed by St. Johns County at 3.3 percent and Okaloosa County at 3.4 percent. Hendry County continued to have the highest unemployment rate at 9.4 percent, followed by Hardee County at 6.7 percent and Citrus County at 6.0 percent.

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