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January unemployment rate held below 4 percent

The January 2018 jobs numbers are out, and they still paint a rosy economic picture.

Per a release from the Department of Economic Development: The unemployment rate of 3.9 percent in January 2018 was the same as it was in December, yet down 0.7 percentage point from a year ago.

As has been the case for a while now, St. Johns County, at 3.3 percent unemployment, is the lowest rate in the state. The highest rate (6.0 percent) is in Citrus County.

Over the year job gains likewise continue to tell a story of expansion, with 21 of 24 metros showing year over year job gains. Orlando, followed by Tampa and Jacksonville, continues to show the most robust growth.

The sole slack in the statewide figures comes when unemployment is not “seasonally adjusted,” as that metric sees 4.1 percent, up from 3.7 percent in December.

Total labor force participation of those 16 and over is 59.2 percent, which is roughly three percent below the national number. Of course, caveats for Florida includes a population of retirees higher than the national average.

As is tradition, Gov. Rick Scott and Department of Economic Opportunity head Cissy Proctor offered affirmational quotes.

Governor Scott said: “I am proud to announce that Florida businesses kicked off 2018 by creating more than 10,000 new jobs for families across the state in January. Each new job means a family is able to provide for themselves and continue to succeed in our state. That is why we have worked nonstop to make Florida more business-friendly by reducing burdensome regulations and cutting taxes. This includes putting a constitutional amendment on the 2018 ballot that will make it harder for politicians to raise taxes on future generations so our progress cannot be undone. We look forward to seeing the many more opportunities that will be created throughout the year as more job creators choose to grow in Florida.”

“Florida businesses have created more than 10,000 jobs in January alone thanks to Governor Scott’s commitment to lowering taxes and business-friendly policies, which allow companies to grow and prosper in our state. I am proud of the Sunshine State’s flourishing economy, making our home the greatest place to live, work, play and raise a family,” Proctor added.

Worth noting also: year over year, the median housing price in Florida is up almost 10 percent, from $220,000 a year before $240,000 today.

The February numbers are slated for a Mar. 23 release.

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Andrew Gillum Andrew Gillum

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