Florida unemployment rate drops to 7% in August

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday that the statewide unemployment rate for August 2013 dropped to 7.0 percent.

According to the state, this figure is down from 7.1 percent in May, June, and July 2013, and down 4.1 percentage points since December 2010.

Palm Beach County's unemployment rate for August is 7.5 percent, down 1.9 percent from the August 2012 rate of 9.4 percent, and down 0.3 percent from the July 2013 rate, according to information provided today by Workforce Alliance and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

"The unemployment rate for August is about 2 percentage points better than last summer and job growth remains strong – for the second consecutive month, Palm Beach County is among the top five of all 22 metro areas in the state for nonagricultural job growth, gaining 9,500 jobs over the year," said Steve Craig, president and chief executive officer of Workforce Alliance, the nonprofit organization chartered by the state to lead workforce development in Palm Beach County.  

Palm Beach County's unemployment rate also has dropped 4.5 percent since the peak unemployment rate in July/August 2010 during the "Great Recession."

The statewide unemployment rate has remained below the national average of 7.3 percent for the sixth consecutive month. Florida has created 365,500 private sector jobs since December 2010.

"Today's announcement is great news for Florida families as the state's unemployment rate dropped to 7.0 percent in August. Since December 2010, the unemployment rate has dropped 4.1 percentage points and Florida has created 365,500 new private sector jobs. This is evidence that our pro-growth and business friendly policies are working," said Scott in a news release.

Florida's unemployment rate has now declined year-over-year for 34 consecutive months.

More Jobs Being Created

  • Florida experienced positive annual job growth for 37 consecutive months.
  • Florida's job growth month-to-month has been positive for 23 of the last 26 months.
  • Florida has created 365,500 new private sector jobs since December 2010.
  • Florida is expected to create almost 1.1 million new jobs by 2018, according to the Florida Economic Estimating Conference. 
  • Florida job postings compiled by the Help Wanted OnLine data series from The Conference Board showed 266,467 openings in August 2013 (seasonally adjusted).  Florida had the largest over-the-month gain of all states, up 11,644 openings. Florida had the fourth highest number of openings in the nation compared to all states.

Home Sales Robust

  • Home sales remain robust as the backlog of existing homes on the market is down by 23 percent from August 2012 (Florida Realtors).
  • Florida median home prices were up 18.6 percent over the year in August 2013.

Economic Growth Trends Up Across State

  • A recent U.S. Census Survey reported that Florida experienced an influx of people moving into the state. Florida also led the nation in migrations from Puerto Rico.
  • Florida is running a trade surplus of over $24 billion – with $86.8 billion in exports and $62.4 billion in imports in 2011, up from $73.1 billion in exports in 2010 and $53.2 billion in imports in 2010.

Workforce Boards Assisting in Employment

  • In August, Florida's 24 Regional Workforce Boards reported more than 41,000 Floridians were placed in jobs. This represents an increase of nearly 12,000 placements over the year from August 2012. An individual who receives employment and training assistance through a One-Stop Career Center and finds a job within 180 days is deemed a placement and may be reported by a regional workforce board. Of these individuals, 11,967 previously received Reemployment Assistance. 
  • In 2012, more than 426,000 Floridians were placed in jobs, with 111,173 former claimants finding employment.

August 2013 monthly employment data: www.floridajobs.org/labor-market-information/labor-market-information-press-releases/monthly-press-releases.

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