Florida unemployment rate goes down slightly
From the Agency for Workforce Innovation
Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April 2010 is 12.0 percent. This represents 1,113,000 jobless out of a labor force of 9,282,000. The unemployment rate is down 0.3 percentage point from the March revised rate of 12.3 percent. This was the first monthly decline in the state’s unemployment rate since February 2006.
Florida’s total nonagricultural employment in April 2010 is 7,196,600, representing a gain of 15,500 jobs (+0.2 percent) over the month but a loss of 117,900 jobs, or -1.6 percent, compared to April 2009. Florida’s rate of job decline is steeper than the national rate of decline for April, which is -1.0 percent over the year. Florida’s annual rate of job loss has continued to moderate with the steepest rate of decline at -6.9 percent in March 2009 compared to the current -1.6 percent.
Consumer and Employer Confidence
Floridians’ consumer confidence index is also showing gains, with a six-point increase from 71 in March to 77 in April out of an index of 100, as reported by the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research. The largest increase was in Floridians’ perceptions of whether it is a good time to purchase big-ticket consumer items, which rose 14 points to 87. Consumers have a positive outlook on short- and long-term economic conditions as well. Expectations of national economic conditions over the year rose 10 points to 80.
National statistics show an increase of 290,000 jobs in the U.S. in April, the biggest monthly total in four years. While the national unemployment rate rose from 9.7 percent to 9.9 percent, economists say the increase is typical as discouraged job seekers who had stopped looking for work begin to re-enter the market. Nationally, 805,000 people without jobs entered the labor force in April to search for work.
“While we recognize that it will take time to emerge from this recession, this decrease in the unemployment rate for the first time in four years coupled with a significant increase in jobs nationally and growth here in Florida are very positive signs,” said Agency for Workforce Innovation Director Cynthia R. Lorenzo. “As our economy begins to rebound under the leadership of Governor Crist, we are continuing to use a wide variety of innovative approaches to support and strengthen Florida’s families, workforce and businesses.”
Governor Charlie Crist signed Senate Bill 1736 this week, extending eligibility dates for the Extended Benefits (EB) program. The EB program provides unemployment compensation to job seekers who have exhausted all other available benefits and meet all requirements. This program utilizes federal stimulus funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and will bring an estimated $128 million in benefits to approximately 107,000 Floridians. The Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation is accepting EB applications online at www.floridajobs.org.
Last month, the Florida legislature passed Senate Bill 1752, which provides more than $218 million in tax breaks and incentives for Florida’s businesses to help reinvigorate the economy and provide much-needed jobs. The Jobs Bill, created in response to Governor Charlie Crist’s economic policy and budget recommendations, will stimulate Florida’s economy by creating job growth as well as business and economic development. Some of the major incentives of the bill include:
- $11 million for relief to unemployed workers and assistance to distressed and rural communities
- Businesses are eligible for a $1000 tax credit to hire workers who have been unemployed for at least 30 days.
- Businesses can also receive financial incentives for keeping workers for at least a year.
- $22 million to support economic development by attracting and retaining globally competitive industries.
- $11.9 million to assist the more than 1.8 million small businesses in Florida.
- $19.8 million to support the space industry, which includes approximately 400 companies and employs 31,700 workers at average wages of more than $71,300.
United States and Florida Unemployment Rates (seasonally adjusted)
Florida’s Nonagricultural Employment by Industry (Seasonally Adjusted)
- The number of jobs in Florida is 7,196,600 in April 2010, down 117,900 compared to a year ago. The industry losing the most jobs is construction (-45,300 jobs, -11.1 percent).
- Other industries losing jobs over the year include: leisure and hospitality (-25,400 jobs, -2.8 percent); financial activities (-23,600 jobs, -4.8 percent); manufacturing (-18,600 jobs, -5.6 percent); trade, transportation, and utilities (-15,700 jobs, -1.1 percent); information (-11,600 jobs, -8.0 percent); professional and business services (-10,600 jobs, -1.0 percent); and other services (-5,400 jobs, -1.7 percent).
- These industry job losses are partially due to weakness in specialty trade contractors; food services and drinking places; credit intermediation; fabricated metal product manufacturing; merchant wholesalers (durable goods), and automobile dealers; publishing; employment services; and repair and maintenance.
- Private education and health services (+35,900 jobs, +3.4 percent) and total government (+2,100, +0.2 percent) are the only sectors gaining jobs among Florida’s major industries. Most of the increase in private education and health services is due to health care and social assistance (+30,200 jobs, +3.3 percent), primarily in ambulatory health care services. Private education services increased by 5,700 jobs (+4.0 percent) over the year. Most of the increase in government is due to state government.
Local Area Unemployment Statistics (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
- In April 2010, Liberty County has the state’s lowest unemployment rate (6.7 percent), followed by Monroe County (7.2 percent), Alachua County (7.4 percent), Leon County (7.5 percent), and Okaloosa County (7.6 percent). Many of the counties with the lowest unemployment rates are those with relatively high proportions of government employment.
- Flagler County (15.4 percent) has the highest unemployment rate in Florida in April 2010, followed by Hernando County (14.3 percent), Marion County (13.9 percent), St. Lucie County (13.7 percent), and Hendry County (13.3 percent). The counties with the highest unemployment rates in the state experienced continued weakness in construction, manufacturing, and financial activities. There are 45 Florida counties with double-digit unemployment rates in April, down from 53 the previous month.
Area Nonagricultural Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
- All metro areas in the state except three lost jobs over the year in April 2010. The Crestview-Ft. Walton Beach-Destin metro area and the Panama City-Lynn Haven-Panama City Beach metro area each gained 100 jobs (+0.1 percent) over the year. The Gainesville metro area was unchanged over the year. Metro areas with the steepest declines include Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Pompano Beach (-42,300 jobs, -1.9 percent); Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (-23,600 jobs, -2.3 percent); and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (-23,600 jobs, -2.1 percent).
- Unemployment rate in Florida still creeping up
- Unemployment rate drops for third month in a row in Florida
- Unemployment increases statewide; Florida has less jobs
- Florida’s unemployment down again; 4200 Gulf jobs available
- Florida unemployment rate up to 11 percent; over 98,000 unemployed in Broward
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