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Florida Added Almost 23,000 Jobs In July

July 2019 Florida unemployment figures came in at 3.3 precent, down slightly from the month earlier, and down from the 3.7 national rate.
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
July 2019 Florida unemployment figures came in at 3.3 precent, down slightly from the month earlier, and down from the 3.7 national rate.

Florida gained almost 23,000 jobs last month, the most of any state other than Texas.

Figures released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows Florida's unemployment rate in July was 3.3 percent, a slight decrease from 3.4 percent in June.

Florida has added 227,000 jobs year over year, the most of any state but Texas and California.

The latest monthly totals, reflecting 344,000 jobless Floridians in a workforce of 10.35 million, come two days after state economists projected the state will take in about $867 million less in revenue over the next two years than anticipated. Economists attributed the drop in expected revenue to a combination of a slowing economy and the reverberations of financial decisions.

The state’s jobless estimate for July indicates there are about 5,000 fewer Floridians out of work than in June and 11,000 fewer unemployed from a year ago.

In a press release announcing the latest unemployment rate Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state will continue to “prioritize policies that promote economic growth, including lowering taxes, smart investments in the environment and working to make Florida the best state in the nation for workforce education.”

The monthly job numbers were bolstered by growth in the fields of service producing, private-service providing, and education and health services.

The biggest drop-off in jobs was in local government positions, which fell by 5,300 from June to July. Local government positions are still up 6,600 from a year ago, however. Construction jobs, up 21,300 over the past year, fell by 1,400 from June to July. The state’s unemployment rate remains below the national rate, which held at 3.7 percent for the second month, after ticking up from 3.6 percent in May.

Among the state’s metropolitan statistical areas, the Crestview-Fort Walton-Destin region in the Florida Panhandle has the lowest jobless rate, dropping from 2.9 percent in June to 2.8 percent in July. The Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford area, at 3.2 percent, was second lowest, followed by the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton area, at 3.3 percent.

The state’s overall unemployment rate is seasonally adjusted, while the regional rates are not.

The highest jobless rates were found in the metropolitan statistical areas for Homosassa Springs and Sebring, each at 5.2 percent. Homosassa Springs was also at 5.2 percent in June, while Sebring was at 5.1 percent in June, after jumping from 4.3 percent in May. The Panama City area, which continues to recover from last year’s Hurricane Michael, improved from 3.9 percent in June to 3.6 percent for July.

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