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Florida's Unemployment Rate Remains At 5 Percent

Florida’s unemployment rate remains at 5 percent, where it’s been throughout the first quarter of the year. Lynn Hatter reports state employment officials say that’s a good thing.

Florida has been at five percent unemployment since January. But as Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Cissy Proctor explains, there’s a lot going on behind that number.

“When you have a steady unemployment rate, strong labor force growth and private sector businesses creating jobs, plus new people moving everyday…the combination of those factors and the numbers we’re seeing and strength of those numbers is very positive.”

The count is done by the federal government which does a monthly survey of workers—both employed and non-employed. It doesn’t include people with disabilities, retirees or children.

Proctor says the state continues to see job growth in the private sector—with education, health, leisure and business and professional services seeing the most gains.

"Fifty-seven percent of the private sector business created since December 2010 have an average wage of over $40,000 and over 76 percent of those jobs have an average wage of $40,000," Proctor says.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas. She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. When she’s not working, Lynn spends her time watching sci-fi and action movies, writing her own books, going on long walks through the woods, traveling and exploring antique stores. Follow Lynn Hatter on Twitter: @HatterLynn.
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