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Local: Madison County jobless rate unchanged

Lazaro Aleman: Greene Publishing, Inc.

Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.3 percent in May, down 0.2 percentage point from April’s rate of 4.5 percent and the same as the national rate. It is also nearly down to what it was in Florida in May 2007, when the Great Recession started.

In Madison County, the jobless rate remained at 4.2 percent, the same as the previous month. However, in Jefferson County, it rose to 4.2 percent in May, 0.2 of a percentage point from April’s rate of 4.0 percent.

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

Statewide, 435,000 Floridians were unemployed in May out of a labor force of 10,147,000, not counting persons who had given up the job search, were underemployed, or employed part time. Florida’s seasonally adjusted total nonagricultural employment was 8,582,000 in May, an increase of 29,600 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 4.2 percent rate translates into 311 jobless persons in May out of a labor force of 7,337, compared with 309 jobless persons out of a labor force of 7,330 in April, when the rate was also 4.2 percent. All told, 7,026 people were employed in Madison County in May, compared with 7,021 in April. In May 2016, the comparable figures were 364 jobless persons out of a labor force of 7,459 and 7,095 employed when the unemployment rate was 4.9 percent.

For Jefferson County, the 4.2 percent rate translates into 233 jobless persons in May out of a labor force of 5,532, compared with 224 jobless persons out of a labor force of 5,555 in April, when the rate was 4 percent. All told, 5,299 people were employed in Jefferson County in May, compared with 5,331 in April. In May 2016, the comparable figures were 276 jobless persons out of a workforce of 5,380 and 5,104 employed when the unemployment rate was 5.1 percent.

Statewide, the industry gaining the most jobs continued to be professional and business services, up 52,900 jobs; followed by leisure and hospitality, up 34,900 jobs; education and health services, up 34,400 jobs; construction, up 31,000 jobs; trade, transportation and utilities, up 30,900 jobs; other services, up 11,800 jobs; government, up 11,700 jobs; manufacturing, up 10,600 jobs; financial activities, up 9,600 jobs; and information, up 200 jobs.

Monroe County continued to have the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.7 percent, followed by St. Johns County at 3.0 percent, and Okaloosa County at 3.1 percent.

Hendry County continued to have the highest unemployment rate at 6.6 percent, followed by Sumter County at 5.9 percent, and Citrus County at 5.6 percent.

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