Florida Jobless Rate at 2.9 Percent

Florida Jobless Rate at 2.9 Percent

By Jim Turner, Tom Urban The News Service of Florida

TALLAHASSEE — While still near historically low levels, Florida’s unemployment rate inched up to 2.9 percent in November.

The November rate was an increase from 2.8 percent in October and represented 324,000 people out of work from a labor force of 11.19 million, according to a report released Friday by the Florida Department of Commerce.

After spending the first half of the year at 2.6 percent, the rate has slowly risen since July. The state’s record low was 2.4 percent during the housing boom of 2006.

The labor force grew by 350,000 people from November 2022 to November 2023. The unemployment rate in November 2022 was 2.7 percent

“Florida has been leading the nation in new business formations since 2019,” Jimmy Heckman, the Department of Commerce’s chief of workforce statistics and economic research, said. “Each year since 2019, there have been more new business formations in Florida than in any other state. We think that is a huge factor in contributing to an increased demand for labor.”

Florida has seen employment increases during the past year in categories such as education and health services and trade, transportation and utilities. Also, it has seen increases in categories such as leisure and hospitality and construction.

“The construction sector is one that we saw that was kind of disproportionately impacted by interest-rate increases earlier in the year,” Heckman said. “Over the back half of the year, however, we have seen that industry rebound quite a good bit.”https://6b2120b665d45f88c0990a3edd774d6f.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.html

The national unemployment rate in November was 3.7 percent, down from 3.9 percent in October. The national rate has been under 4 percent for two years.

Across Florida, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metropolitan statistical area had the lowest rate in November at 2.3 percent. Within that area, the Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall region was at 1.4 percent.

Also below 3 percent were the Crestview-Fort-Walton Beach area at 2.8 percent and the Panama City and Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island areas at 2.9 percent.

Among other regions, the Jacksonville and Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metro areas were at 3 percent.

The Cape Coral-Fort Myers and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater areas were at 3.1 percent. The Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville and Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent areas were at 3.2 percent.

The highest unemployment rate was in the Homosassa Springs area at 4.5 percent, followed by the Sebring area and The Villages area at 4.4 percent.

The statewide unemployment rate is seasonally adjusted, while rates for the metropolitan statistical areas are not adjusted.

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