Florida unemployment: Rate unchanged but 28,000 jobs added

Florida's unemployment rate stayed at 8.8 percent in August with the state adding more than 28,000 new jobs in the private sector.

There are now 167,000 more Floridians employed than a year ago in August 2011 although the state had a slight decrease -- 9,000 -- in employment a month ago, according to the state's seasonally adjusted data.

"We're still on track for a modest recovery," said Rebecca Rust, economist for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

She noted that number of unemployed has gone down 157,000 in the state from a year ago.
In fact, Florida is faring much better than Nevada, another state hit hard by the housing bust. Nevada has the nation's highest unemployment rate at 12.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

In comparison, Florida's unemployment rate has dropped 1.7 percentage points in a year. The unemployment rate was at 10.5 percent in August 2011, the state Department of Economic Opportunity reported Friday in seasonally adjusted data. Florida's unemployment rate has declined or held steady for 13 of the last 14 months

Both Broward and Palm Beach counties also had a dropping unemployment rate -- and more people working that a year ago. Broward had 12,950 more people employed in August than it did 12 months earlier, while Palm Beach had 3,778 more in the workforce, according to the state's seasonally unadjusted data.
Broward's unemployment fell from 8.1 percent in July to 7.8 percent in August in data that was not seasonally adjusted. Broward now has a better employment rate than the nation's 8.1 percent.

However, Palm Beach County's unemployment rate remained well above the state's and the nation's, even though it dropped to 9.6 percent in August, according to the state's data that was not seasonally adjusted. In July, Palm Beach County had been at 9.8 percent.

Still, it was an improvement from a year ago when the unemployment rate was at 11.3 percent.

But both counties -- and the whole state -- though had a drop in the number of workers employed from July to August, the state reported. Palm Beach County was down 3,390 in a month, Broward had 3,535 fewer workers while the state dropped 9,000 in employment.

Some suggested the monthly losses would be seasonally related in South Florida.

TREASURE COAST

The Treasure Coast's unemployment rate fell slightly in August to 11.5 percent.

The rate for the tri-county region fell by three-tenths of a percentage point, which represents about 900 fewer people unemployed than the previous month.

Only about half of those 900 got jobs, however. The others either left the region's workforce or stopped looking.

Based on results of the monthly telephone survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were an estimated 28,556 Treasure Coast residents without a job in August who were actively seeking work.

Whether a person is eligible for or receiving unemployment compensation or other benefits is not a factor in whether that person is counted among the unemployed.

Though people leaving the Treasure Coast's workforce account for about half of the jobless rate's slight decline from July to August, the region's shrinking workforce accounts for most of the drop of nearly 2 percent in the rate since a year ago.

The number of unemployed Treasure Coast residents has declined by more than 5,000 since August 2011, but there were only 424 more people working last month than a year ago. That means more than 4,600 others left the workforce for a variety of reasons, which can include returning to school, moving out of the area or simply giving up their search for work.


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