Florida’s Jobless Rate Inches Up

Tallahassee, FL – Florida’s unemployment rate ticked up slightly from November to December, as the estimated number of people out of work grew by 5,000 from the state’s workforce of 10.1 million.

The change pushed the jobless rate from 3.6 percent in November to 3.7 percent in December, representing 374,000 Floridians out of work as the year ended, according to numbers posted Friday by the Department of Economic Opportunity. The numbers also indicate 118,000 fewer people were classified as unemployed in December compared to the end of 2016. Fields that experienced the top growth over the past year include the service industry, office jobs and construction.

Gov. Rick Scott, whose office announced that Orlando, Miami, and Tampa were the top three job producing regions of the state, went to the PGA Tour office in Ponte Vedra Beach in St. Johns County on Friday to announce the latest numbers. PGA Tour is consolidating its offices into headquarters in St. Johns County, which currently holds the state’s lowest unemployment rate, at 2.8 percent.

St. Johns is just below the 3.0 percent rate in Okaloosa County, Wakulla County, and Hurricane Irma-battered Monroe County, which historically held the lowest jobless mark. Seminole and Orange counties are both at 3.1 percent. Leon, Alachua, Clay, Pinellas, Sarasota, and Walton counties are all at 3.2 percent. Counties with the highest unemployment rates in the state were Hendry, at 6.5 percent; Hardee, at 5.5 percent; and Citrus, at 5.4 percent.

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