Florida’s unemployment rate fell to 5.0 percent in August, down 0.1 percent from the July reported rate of 5.1 percent.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity  (DEO) announced Florida has experienced 16 consecutive months of job growth, gaining 19,400 private sector jobs over the month. In total, Florida has gained 990,400 jobs since April 2020.

“Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, Florida’s unemployment rate is decreasing,” said Secretary Dane Eagle of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. “This positive sign shows that Floridians are returning to work and Florida’s economy continues to provide opportunities for meaningful employment. I look forward to working with Floridians to continue these economic successes.”

Florida’s labor force increased by 65,000 over the month. Over the last 5 months, Florida’s labor force has grown by 373,000. The DEO press release stated that the labor force growth is due to the “success of the state’s ‘Return to Work’ initiative as more Floridians are returning to work.”

Private sector industries gaining the most jobs over-the-month were Financial Activities with 8,900 new jobs, Professional and Business Services with 7,900 new jobs, Education and Health Services with 6,100 new jobs and Information with 2,600 new jobs.

For 13 consecutive months, the state of Florida’s unemployment rate has remained below the national rate, which is currently at 5.2%.

The lowest unemployment rate in Florida was reported in the Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin metropolitan area at 3.8 percent, down from 4.0 percent in July. Last year, when Florida’s unemployment rate started to fall after COVID-19 mitigation efforts were relaxed, the area’s rate was at 4.8 percent and the state’s unemployment rate was at 7.9 percent.

The state’s highest unemployment rate was in the Sebring area – located in south central Florida – at 6.5 percent. The Villages is at 6.4 percent, while Homosassa Springs is at 6.3 percent.

The unemployment rate in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metropolitan area is at 5.6 percent and in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area was reported as 4.5 percent.

The Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metropolitan area – dominated by tourism – has a 5.0 percent unemployment rate. A year ago, the central Florida region topped the state with a 10.7 percent jobless rate.

Along the I-10 corridor, the Pensacola area is at 4.5 percent and the Jacksonville area is at 4.3 percent.

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Steve Stewart is the Managing Editor and a contributor at The Florida Capital Star. Email tips to sstewart@floridacapitalstar.com.
Photo “Newspaper Job Ads” by Ametec Photos. CC BY-SA 2.0.