Florida’s unemployment rate holds steady at 3.3% for May
Everyone’s hiring. Image via AP.

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The Miami-Dade area had the state's lowest unemployment rate, at 2.2.% last month.

Florida’s relatively stable monthly unemployment rate held steady in May.

FloridaCommerce officials released the new jobless figures showing that the unemployment rate was 3.3% for May. That’s unchanged from the April unemployment figure in the Sunshine State. The previous month’s jobless figure ticked up slightly from March, which posted an unemployment rate of 3.2%.

Florida also maintained a jobless rate that remained lower than the national figure by 0.7 percentage points. It’s the 43rd straight month Florida had a lower unemployment figure than the national rate. The U.S. unemployment rate for May was 4%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Miami-Dade area had the lowest unemployment rate in May among Florida’s large metropolises. The jobless rate there was 2.2%, though it was a 0.1-percentage-point increase from the April unemployment figure of 2.1%.

Fort Lauderdale also recorded a modest jobless figure for May, at 2.8%.

Orlando and West Palm Beach were also below the 3% mark, with a 2.9% unemployment rate.

Tampa, Pensacola, Fort Myers and Jacksonville shared the same unemployment rate, which was slightly lower than the state’s rate. All four cities posted a 3% jobless figure for May.

The more rural areas of the state pushed the overall number upward.

The stable jobless rate reflects an ongoing trend this year in Florida. There have been only modest 0.1-percentage-point increases in a couple of months in 2024 thus far. A few months showed no change at all, though the jobless figure has yet to drop month-to-month this year.

Initial unemployment benefit claims have been fluctuating from week to week. In June alone, the first week of the month showed a significant spike in first-time unemployment claims, while the second week saw that figure drop back down.

The statewide monthly unemployment report comes as Gov. Ron DeSantis is touting a gross domestic product figure released this week. The GDP for Florida grew 21.9% from the first quarter of 2019 to the first quarter of this year.

“Florida remains one of the world’s strongest economies, with an annual GDP of nearly $1.3 trillion. And Florida continues to lead the nation in new business formations, with more than 3 million formed since 2019 and over 266,000 formed already in 2024,” said a DeSantis news release Friday.

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].


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