Florida unemployment rate holds steady in February, lower than national rate
The number of first-time unemployment claims in Florida dropped in the third week of April. Image via AP.

It's the 40th straight month Florida has a lower unemployment rate than the national figure.

Florida’s unemployment rate for February held steady while remaining lower than the national jobless figure for that month, according to a Florida Department of Commerce report published this month.

Gov. Ron DeSantis touted the unemployment figure, which was 3.1% last month, representing no change from the January figure. The national jobless rate in February came in at 3.9%, which is a slight uptick from the January figure of 3.7%.

DeSantis was quick to point out that Florida has been on a roll by maintaining a lower unemployment rate than the national figure for the past 40 months.

“Florida continues to outperform the nation,” DeSantis said in a prepared statement this month. “We have proven that bold, conservative leadership across the board produces booming economic results—more jobs, lower taxes, less regulation, and fiscal security.”

While the January and February jobless rate remained the same in the report, those figures are an increase from Florida’s December figure of 2.9%. It’s also an uptick from February, 2023 when the state unemployment rate was 2.7%.

In other data in the Bureau of Workforce Statistics and Economic Research, Florida’s workforce grew by 2% in February, an increase of about 217,000 jobs from February, 2023.

“Florida’s strong talent pipeline and skilled workforce are the building blocks of Florida’s economic growth and stability. February’s economic data is more absolute evidence that Florida is on the right path,” said Florida Secretary of Commerce J. Alex Kelly.

In Florida’s largest metropolitan areas, Miami had the lowest unemployment rate in February at 1.6%. The Pensacola area had the highest jobless figure for the month at 3.4%. Miami was the only large city in Florida to have an unemployment rate under 3%.

Drew Dixon

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at [email protected].


  • Hung Wiil

    March 24, 2024 at 7:54 pm

    Where is that tool Don’t Say Ye? That whiny bitch.

    This is why, the biggest reason, Republicans outnumber Democrats in Florida by nearly 1 million registrants. Florida’s

    • Impeach Biden

      March 24, 2024 at 8:12 pm

      Yup. Where is Nikki Fried and her Florida Democrat party? Where are all the critics of our outstanding Governor? Florida is solid Red. Keep it that way.

    • Dont Say FLA

      March 25, 2024 at 11:36 am

      Hung Lil, I don’t whine. I call bullshit. People going on and on about the dangers of books, drag queens and Disney World, that is whining.

  • Dont Say FLA

    March 24, 2024 at 8:23 pm

    The more underemployed people are, the less unemployed the employment rate can be, and Florida has among the lowest wages in all 50 states.

    So congrats to everybody putting on a costume and waving your sign at passersby letting them know of Subway’s decision to use sliced meats in their sandwiches.

    Congrats to the cashiers at Gatorland, ringing up trinkets for minimum wage.

    Congrats to the start and stop button pushers at every roller coaster in the state.

    Congrats to the people trying to sell you pics of you on the Slingshot ride while you’re still giddy from the ride.

    etc etc. Congrats to all the woefully underemployed employees in Florida. You’re doing great, but not great enough for that fifteen cents per hour raise we promised you.

    • Impeach Biden

      March 24, 2024 at 9:36 pm

      There are underemployed in all fifty states. The Florida economy is rocking and you once again spin the negativity. Yet you still live here I presume and thousands continue to come. Keep Florida Red and dont Kalifornia or New York my Florida.

      • Dont Say FLA

        March 25, 2024 at 11:28 am

        I will concede Florida’s economy is doing so “well” that most workers in Florida have two or three jobs, some even have four or five!

        Who really derives the benefit of Florida’s low unemployment?

        It’s not the workers, or they wouldn’t have to work two or more jobs.

        In Florida’s case of overwhelming underemployment, unemployment isn’t as good of a thing is it’s normally take to be in places with diversity of employment and real opportunity for workers to move up from an employment level of “would you like fries that”

  • Dont Say FLA

    March 25, 2024 at 11:35 am

    How many people have a job with compensation that allows them to pay for rent or a mortgage, renters or homeowners insurance, a car or two plus gasoline and tires and brakes and car insurance and other maintenance, plus food, water and electricity? One job. How many have one job that pays a living wage? How many earn a living wage between two jobs? But Rhonda wants to brag that everybody has some super crappy job or two or three but still can’t keep their heads above water thanks to rich CEO types keeping all the money for themselves and their lobbyists and by extension via the lobbyists, their FLgOP reps.

  • JD

    March 25, 2024 at 11:50 am

    You all know how unemployment rate works right? It’s a F@CKING survey of people LOOKING for work, but don’t have employment of any kind.

    It’s lying with statistics these days (both Republicans and Democrats). Real numbers to compare Apples to Apples, not Mangos and Bananas need to use the following:

    Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR)
    Employment-Population Ratio
    Underemployment Rate
    Job Openings and Labor Turnover (JOLTS)
    Real Wages
    Long-term Unemployment Rate
    Industry and Sector Employment Trends

Comments are closed.


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