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State’s jobless rate remains unchanged

Lazaro Aleman: Greene Publishing, Inc.

Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in December, unchanged from November, and 0.2 percentage point higher than the U.S. unemployment rate of 4.7 percent.

In Madison County, December’s rate was 5.1 percent, down from the revised rate of 5.5 percent (originally reported as 5.5 percent). In Jefferson County, the December jobless rate was 5.2 percent, down from the revised rate of 5.4 percent in November (originally given as 5.3 percent).

These are the latest unemployment figures reported by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (FDEO).

Statewide, 491,000 Floridians were out of work in December out of a labor force of 9,947,000, not counting persons who had given up the job search, were underemployed, or were employed part time.

Florida’s seasonally adjusted total nonagricultural employment was 8,462,900 in December, a decrease of 700 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 counties, however, are not seasonally adjusted.

For Madison County, the 5.1 percent translates into 374 jobless persons out of a labor force of 7,391, compared with 410 jobless persons out of a labor force of 7,441 in November when the rate was also 5.5 percent. All told, 7,017 people were employed in Madison County in December, compared with 7,031 in November.

In December 2015, the comparable figures were 394 jobless persons out of a labor force of 7,466 and 7,072 employed when the unemployment rate was 5.3 percent.

For Jefferson County, the 5.2 percent translates into 287 jobless persons out of a labor force of 5,504, compared with 295 jobless persons out of a labor force of 5,505 in November when the rate was 5.4 percent.  All told, 5,217 people were employed in Jefferson County in December, compared with 5,210 in November.

In December 2015, the comparable figures were 281 jobless persons out of a workforce of 5,403 and 5,122 employed when the unemployment rate was 5.2 percent.

Statewide, the industry gaining the most jobs was leisure and hospitality, up 53,100 jobs; followed by education and health services, up 46,800 jobs; professional and business services, up 46,200 jobs; trade, transportation, and utilities, up 35,600 jobs; construction, up 22,300 jobs; financial activities, up 18,700 jobs; government, up 14,100 jobs; other services, up 7,600 jobs; and manufacturing, up 7,000 jobs.  Information industry employment was unchanged over the year.

Monroe County continued to have the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 3.0 percent, followed by Hamilton County at 3.4 percent, and St. Johns County at 3.6 percent.

Hendry County continued to have the highest unemployment rate at 8.0 percent, followed by Citrus County at 6.7 percent, and Sumter County at 6.6 percent.

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