Jobless rate out for Palm Beach County, Treasure Coast

WEST PALM BEACH, Fl. - Reported by David Gould, NewsChannel 5 and Paul Ivice, Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers

Employment opportunities in Palm Beach County remain better than they were a year ago.

A report issued by the Workforce Alliance and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity indicates that the unemployment rate for June 2013 is 7.5 percent, almost 2 percentage points less than what it was in June 2012. However, it was 0.5 percentage points above the May 2013 rate.

The Palm Beach County unemployment rate has been below the national rate for six consecutive months.

Workforce Alliance says that Palm Beach County gained 5,500 jobs over the year.  Palm Beach County's unemployment rate also has dropped 4.5 percentage points since the peak unemployment rate in July/August 2010 during the "Great Recession."

June is typically the month with the biggest increases in unemployment rates on the Treasure Coast, and despite significant improvement in the job market in recent months, this year was no exception.

The Treasure Coast's unemployment rate rose to 9.3 percent in June, from 8.6 percent the previous month, but was still almost a full point lower than the 11.0 percent of a year ago.

The seasonally adjusted statewide rate stayed flat at 7.1 percent, the lowest it has been since it was 7.0 percent in September 2008, and well below the 8.8 percent of a year ago. The unadjusted rate, however, rose to 7.4 percent from 7.0 percent a month ago. County and regional rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Florida's unemployment rate has declined year-over-year for 32 consecutive months.

Though the jobless rate jumped seven-tenths of a percentage point in June in Martin and St. Lucie counties and six-tenths of a point in Indian River County, those were smaller increases than the May-to-June jumps in most of the past decade.

Gov. Rick Scott noted in a news release that Florida's unemployment rate remains below the national average of 7.6 percent for the fourth consecutive month. During June, 2,300 private-sector jobs were added, for a total of more than 333,000 private sector jobs since December 2010.

"Florida's June unemployment rate of 7.1 percent will continue to contribute to the long-term trend of decreasing unemployment throughout the state," Scott said. "The creation of more than 2,000 private sector jobs last month is further evidence of the state's continuing economic recovery. As Florida families are getting back to work, it is clear that it's working."

According to estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly telephone poll, 23,603 Treasure Coast residents were not working in June, but wanted to be. That was 1,700 more than the previous month, but about 4,400 fewer than a year ago.

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.

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