Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Florida jobless rate fell to 3.2 percent

Florida’s unemployment rate fell to 3.2 percent in March, as workers moved away from hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues for higher-paying jobs in manufacturing, warehousing and logistics.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity released a report Friday that said the unemployment rate in March was down from 3.3 percent in February. The rate has come down steadily despite employers reportedly struggling to retain workers.

“The (a) combination of the unemployment rate and a rising labor force is a very good sign for Florida’s economy,” Adrienne Johnston, the department’s chief economist, said in a conference call with reporters. “This means that more and more Floridians continue to enter the job market and they are able to find work on a consistent basis.”

Johnson said that people appear more optimistic about finding work if they leave their current jobs, with talks among economists returning to pre-pandemic discussions about a “tight labor market”.

“We’re having the conversations that we were having two or three years ago, where all the businesses, all the industries in our state are growing,” Johnson said. “They are competing for qualified talent and they have to find ways to compete. And that includes finding other ways to incentivize their employees, including raising salaries in some cases.”

Job gains in the monthly report showed people finding work in the state, with the professional and vocational-services sectors seeing a turnaround in the state, while the leisure and hospitality sectors showed the biggest decline.

The March unemployment rate, which was down from 5.4 percent a year earlier, represented an estimated 339,000 Floridians who fell out of work, out of a labor force of 10.51 million. From February to March, 8,000 more people found work in Florida, while the labor force increased by 42,000.

Florida achieved 497,800 jobs year over year, an increase of 5.7 percent, while the number of jobs nationally increased by 4.5 percent over the same time period, the report said.

In early 2020, as businesses cut or closed as the coronavirus pandemic began, Florida’s unemployment rate rose from 2.7 percent in February 2020 to 4.5 percent in March 2020. The rate jumped to 13.9 percent in May 2020, when 1.4 million people were out. Work. During the early months of the pandemic, the state lost 1.28 million jobs.

The state estimates that since that time, Florida has raised 1.44 million jobs.

Ron DeSantis’ office said last month was “the largest single month of growth in manufacturing since May 2020”.

“Economic data underscores that Florida is outperforming the country by defending the freedoms Floridians need to do business and achieve economic success,” DeSantis said in a statement. “Industries such as manufacturing continue to grow as Florida prioritizes workforce development and expansion of opportunities for businesses and families in our state.”

The national unemployment rate stood at 3.6 percent in March, up from 3.8 percent in February.

Florida is among 37 states where the unemployment rate declined from February to March, the US Labor Department said Friday, while 13 other states and the District of Columbia reported a steady rate.

“Over the past year, the unemployment rate has declined in every state, and many states have reached historic levels,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. “These are not just numbers on a page: these are the millions of Americans who are back at work and able to support themselves and their families with well-paying jobs and enjoy the dignity that a job provides.” Huh.”

While Biden credits his economic plans, Republican leaders in Florida have cautioned about federal policies. State Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis called on DeSantis to make unspecified budget cuts to save Florida from a potential recession. Lawmakers last month passed a budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, though they have not formally sent DeSantis a spending plan.

Meanwhile, the National Federation of Independent Business reported a decrease in optimism among business owners, mainly because of inflation.

Bill Herrell, executive director of NFIB-Florida, said in a statement on Tuesday: “While Florida’s economy has been doing remarkably well over the past few years, we are not immune from rising inflation and other challenges facing small businesses across the country. ”

Across Florida, the lowest unemployment rate in March was in Monroe County at 1.7 percent, followed by St. John’s County at 2.0 percent and Wakula and Okaloosa counties at 2.1 percent.

Highlands County had the highest rate of 3.9 percent, followed by Putnam County at 3.8 percent, and Citrus and Hamilton counties at 3.7 percent.

Among the larger metropolitan areas, Jacksonville and the Tampa Bay area were up at 2.5 percent, down from 2.9 percent in February. The Pensacola region was up 2.6 percent in February after being up 3.0 percent.

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metropolitan area was at 2.8 percent, down from 3.0 percent in February. The Orlando-Kissimi-Sanford region grew from 3.4 percent in February to 2.9 percent in March.

State unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted, while county and metropolitan rates are not.

Nation World News Desk
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