Florida jobless rate inches up to 2.9%

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Florida’s unemployment rate inched up to 2.9% in November from 2.8% in October, Florida Commerce reported on Friday.

Florida’s jobless rate was 0.8 percentage point lower than the 3.7% national rate in November, the 37th straight month the state’s unemployment rate remained below that of the nation as a whole.

The state’s overall workforce continued to increase, as 350,000 people entered the labor market last month, an annual growth rate of 3.2%.

A building under construction in Miami in November. The Miami metro area unemployment rate fell to 1.4% last month, improved from 2.1% in November 2022.

Bloomberg News

Florida’s private sector employment also rose, increasing 0.3%, or by 28,300 jobs, in November from October. Year-over-year, the private sector job growth rate came in at 2.9% compared to 1.6% nationally.

“Florida’s economy is thriving because of key workforce and industry investments in manufacturing, aerospace and aviation, military and defense and several research and development sectors,” Secretary of Commerce J. Alex Kelly said in a statement.

“These investments are driving job growth, new business formations for small and large businesses, six consecutive months of construction job growth and a record pace for commercial and tourism related visitation,” he said.

In November, the education and health services sector saw the most job gains in the state among all major industries from October and was followed by the construction sector.

Regionally, the Miami-Dade metropolitan statistical area had the state’s lowest unemployment rate while gaining the highest number of private sector jobs in the state on a year-over-year basis, Jimmy Heckman, bureau chief at Florida Commerce, said at a press briefing after the data release.

Last month, the Miami metro area unemployment rate fell to 1.4%, down 0.7 percentage point from 2.1% in November 2022. The Miami area added 44,300 private sector jobs, a 3.9% increase over the year.

The area led all metros in job gains on the year in five industry sectors: trade, transportation and utilities; professional and business services; government; other services; and manufacturing.

The Orlando metro area’s unemployment rate rose to 3.0% in November, up 0.4 percentage point from 2.6% in November 2022.

The Orlando area’s labor force increased 3.1% from November 2022. The metro area added 26,600 private sector jobs, an increase of 2.0% from last November.

The Orlando area led all other areas in state job gains on the year in leisure and hospitality.

“One of the biggest reasons we see continued job growth in Florida that outpaces the nation is that the state has led in new business formations over other states since 2019 and this has led to increased demand for labor and more jobs and opportunities for Floridians,” Heckman said.

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