Florida’s unemployment rate 4.7% for fifth straight month


Florida’s unemployment rate remained flat in September, marking the fifth straight month the state reported a rate of 4.7 percent.

The state added 17,900 private-sector jobs, bringing the total number of jobs created in 2016 to 200,000. According to the governor’s office, the state has created more than 1.2 million jobs since December 2010.

“We will continue to do all we can to encourage job creators to invest in our state so we can create more opportunities for Floridians to provide for their families and achieve their dreams,” said Gov. Rick Scott in a statement Friday.

Scott announced the monthly jobs numbers during a stop at Uniform Advantage in Fort Lauderdale. The company designs and manufactures scrubs for hospitals, dental clinics, and veterinary offices.

According to the Department of Economic Opportunity, all 24 metro areas saw year-over-year gains in September. The largest gains were once again in the Orlando area, followed by the Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area and the Tampa Bay metropolitan area.

The Orlando area added 52,100 new private sector jobs from September 2015 to September 2016. The DEO reported the unemployment rate in the area was 4.5 percent.

The region’s leisure and hospitality industry saw the largest gains over the year, adding 13,500 jobs. The construction industry added 12,500 jobs, followed by education and health services with 9,100 new jobs.

The state also announced Orlando had the second-highest demand for high-skill, high-wage STEM occupations with 9,326 openings. The Tampa Bay region was first, with 15,199 jobs available.

Tampa Bay added 32,000 private-sector jobs over the year in September. Professional and business services saw the largest gain with 8,500 new jobs over the year, followed by education and health services with 6,800 new jobs.

“Tampa also leads the state in job openings, with more than 47,000 openings available for families,” said Scott in a statement. That is great news because more Floridians are finding the opportunities they need to succeed in the Tampa Bay area.”

At 3.2 percent, Monroe County had the lowest unemployment rate in the state in September. Hendry County had the highest unemployment rate at 11.3 percent.

Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster


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