Florida unemployment rate remains at 7.1 percent

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida's unemployment rate remained flat at 7.1 percent in June.

The unemployment rate has been unchanged since May, when the rate dropped 0.1 percent from the previous month. The rate is a significant drop from a year before, when unemployment stood at 8.8 percent.

The figures were released Thursday, a day ahead of schedule.

In a statement, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said the June unemployment rate would "continue to contribute to the long-term trend of decreasing unemployment throughout the state."

"As Florida families are getting back to work, it is clear that it's working," he said.

State economists released an analysis in June showing a key reason for the unemployment decline has been people leaving the labor force or delaying their search for a job. The number of jobs in the state declined in May by 6,200.

But figures released by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show the actual number of jobs in the state increased by 9,300 in June. The vast majority of those jobs were in the public sector; just 2,300 came from the private sector.

Labor officials use two different surveys to calculate the two economic measures.

Scott has made job creation his primary focus since winning office and will be up for re-election next year. Since December 2010, the statewide unemployment rate has declined from 11.1 percent to 7.1 percent.

Scott announced job additions at two different sites in Florida recently, in Pensacola and Tampa. Bristol-Myers Squibb plans to create 579 life science jobs at a 70,000 square foot facility in Hillsborough County by 2017.
 

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