Florida's unemployment rate remaining flat

West Palm Beach experiences positive job growth

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida's unemployment rate is remaining relatively flat.

The state's jobless rate for April was 6.2 percent, or a slight dip from March when the rate actually went up.

But that means the unemployment rate has been the same rate for most of this year.

There was an estimated 599,000 people out of work in the state.

Florida did gain 34,000 jobs last month and trailed only Texas and California in the number of jobs added in April, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The West Palm Beach metro area experienced positive annual job growth, with an increase 15,300 jobs over the year in April 2014. The metro area’s unemployment rate declined by 1.5 percentage points over the year, from 7.1 percent in April 2013 to 5.6 percent in April 2014.

“With an unemployment rate down to 5.6 percent and 15,300 new jobs created over the year, our policies to grow jobs are working in the West Palm Beach area. It is vital that every family benefits from our policies, so let’s keep working to make sure that our opportunity economy continues to grow jobs for Florida families,” said Scott.

The industries with the largest job gains over the year were in professional and business services with 6,500 new jobs and education and health services with 2,900 new jobs. In April 2014, the West Palm Beach metro area was among the top three metro areas in Florida for gains over the year in education and health services and construction.

In April 2014, the West Palm Beach metro area had 19,841 online job openings. The metro area also had 4,390 STEM occupation openings. STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and these jobs are considered high wage and high skill.

Economists have said the state numbers could be a sign that people are beginning to look for work again.

State economists have said a reason for past drops in the unemployment rate is that people left the labor force or had delayed their job search.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.