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Economy / Business

Florida's Unemployment Rate Drops Slightly in June

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Florida's unemployment is dropping slightly.

The June unemployment rate was 5.5 percent, compared to 5.7 percent the month before. The state added 7,000 jobs last month, according to figures released Friday by the Department of Economic Opportunity.

The state's jobless rate remains higher than the national rate of 5.3 percent. There are approximately 529,000 unemployed Floridians, out of a labor force of nearly 9.6 million people.

June's rate was a 0.6 percentage point drop from a year ago.

The unemployment rate in the Tampa metro area declined by 0.9 percentage point over the year from 6.2 percent in June 2014 to 5.3 percent in June 2015.  Florida businesses have added more than 896,000 private-sector jobs since December 2010.

The industries with the largest gain in jobs over the year were leisure and hospitality with 11,000 new jobs, education and health services with 7,700 new jobs, and trade, transportation, and utilities with 6,500 new jobs. The Tampa Bay area was first among the state metro areas in online job demand in June 2015 with 50,853 openings. The metro area was also first in the state in demand for high wage, high skill science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) occupations with 15,531 openings in June.

Hendry County had the state's highest unemployment rate at 10. 3 percent, followed by Hardee County at 7.8 percent.

Monroe County had the lowest unemployment rate at 3.6 percent, followed by St. John's County at 4.0 perc