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Tampa leads state in new STEM jobs

Tampa also leads the state in overall job openings.

Jobs are up and unemployment is down in the Tampa Bay area, according to the latest jobs report from Gov. Ron DeSantis

Over the past year, the Tampa area added more than 29,000 new private-sector jobs. Unemployment dropped 0.3 percent in the area to 3.5 percent.

Tampa’s job growth numbers are the second-highest in the state among metropolitan areas. 

Industries with the highest growth include professional and business services, which added 7,200 new jobs, education and health services with 5,700 new jobs and construction with 5,000 new jobs. 

Tampa had the highest job demand of all state metro areas with nearly 60,000 posted job openings, according to the state’s data.

Of those, nearly 20,000 were for high-skill, high-wage jobs in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. That’s also the highest job demand rate in the state. Tampa Bay area leaders and its various economic development boards target STEM jobs through things like tax credit incentives and job training initiatives. 

“Private-sector industries have the opportunity to expand because of Florida’s low taxes and reasonable regulations,” DeSantis said. “We will keep working hard to ensure employers and workers are coming to Florida to achieve economic success.”

Statewide, Florida businesses created 11,500 new private-sector jobs in June. The state’s annual job growth rate is holding steady at 2.7 percent, which exceeds national growth at 1.7 percent. 

Florida’s overall unemployment rate also fell 0.2 percent over the last year to 3.4 percent. The national rate is 3.7 percent.

“Gov. DeSantis continues to prioritize supporting businesses that are giving Floridians the opportunity to work,” said Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Ken Lawson. “We are traveling around the state and meeting with communities to learn more about how we can help businesses continue to make smart strategic investments in diverse industries and generate sustainable economic growth.”

Florida’s labor force also grew by 124,000 people, a growth rate over the year of 1.2 percent. 

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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