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Florida unemployment down to 3.6 percent, lowest number in decade

After an uncharacteristically subdued release of September job numbers after Irma, Gov. Rick Scott was able to thump his chest Friday with October numbers.

The topline takeaway: unemployment is down to 3.6 percent, the lowest number in a decade.

Florida added more than 127,000 private sector jobs in October;  all told, 1,448,300 jobs have been added by the Scott administration.

“I am proud to announce today that Florida’s unemployment rate has reached a more than 10-year low of 3.6 percent and that more than 127,000 private-sector jobs were created in October. While Hurricane Irma was a devastating storm,” Scott asserted, “we have worked day after day to help communities recover and send a message across the world that Florida is open for business.”

“Recovering from Hurricane Irma has been our top priority. We are committed to ensuring Florida’s families and businesses continue to prosper. The unemployment rate has consistently declined while jobs are being added in diverse industries all across the Sunshine State, proving that we have the best economic climate in the nation,” added Cissy Proctor, head of the Department of Economic Opportunity.

According to DEO, other “positive economic indicators” include:

— Private-sector industries gaining the most jobs over-the-year were:

Professional and business services with 38,900 new jobs;

Trade, transportation and utilities with 38,300 new jobs;

Construction with 35,600 new jobs;

Education and health services with 17,600 new jobs; and

Other services with 17,600 new jobs.

— Florida job postings showed 240,297 openings in October 2017.

— In October, Florida’s 24 regional workforce boards reported 23,082 Floridians, including 1,273 veterans, were placed in jobs.

The Scott Administration frames job growth in a year over year framework, and Orlando continues to pace the state in job creation.

“I am proud to announce that Orlando leads the state with the most jobs created this past year, adding more than 37,000 new private-sector jobs. This growth, and the area’s low 3.2 percent unemployment rate, confirms that Orlando remains a great place to start or grow a business,” Scott said.

Leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, finance, and professional and business services have all been growth sectors in the Orlando area, which has a 3.2 percent unemployment rate.

The Tampa metro is also strong, with a 3.3 percent unemployment rate. Professional and business services and construction were the main drivers for the 27,000 new jobs added year over year.

22 out of 24 metro areas in Florida had over-the-year job gains. Cape Coral/Ft. Myers and Homosassa Springs were exceptions to the rule.

On a county by county basis, unemployment ranged from 2.7 percent in Okaloosa and St. Johns Counties to 7.3 percent in Hardee County.

To view the October 2017 employment data, click here.

Capital correspondent Jim Rosica contributed to this post.

Written By

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