TALLAHASSEE – Florida’s unemployment rate continued its decline, dropping in May to 8.6 – the lowest since December 2008, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced Friday.
The May 2012 rate was 2 percentage points lower than the May 2011 rate of 10.6 percent. Also, Florida’s declining unemployment rate continues to outpace the nation, continuing its decline in May while the national rate rose 0.1 percent to 8.2 percent.
The May rate fell slightly from Florida's 8.7 percent figure in April when the state also lost jobs because thousands of people left the labor force.
The counties with the lowest unemployment rates were those with relatively high proportions of government employment. Monroe County had the healthiest situation with 4.9 percent unemployment. However, eight counties reported higher unemployment numbers compared to five in April.
The hardest hit job sectors continue to be construction, hospitality and local government.
“As more businesses choose Florida as their home, we will continue to see more and more Floridians secure the jobs they are seeking,” Gov. Rick Scott is quoted in a news release. “I will continue to work tirelessly on making positive changes to our business climate in Florida until we achieve my goal of making this state the No. 1 business destination in the world.”
Florida’s job growth rate over the year has been positive for 22 consecutive months, after losing jobs for three straight years. Since Scott’s inauguration, the state’s unemployment rate has dropped 2.3 percentage points and added 99,600 private sector jobs, including 9,200 in May.
Additional Florida positive workforce trends:
• Number of unemployed fell below 800,000 for the first time since January 2009
• Unemployment rates have declined over the year for 18 consecutive months
• Unemployment rate has declined over the month for 11 consecutive months
• Job growth rate has been positive over the year for 22 consecutive months
Also in May, the state’s 24 Regional Workforce Boards reported that more than 27,000 Floridians were placed in jobs, with 150,000 job placements reported since January. Of these individuals, 6,298 who previously received unemployment compensation were assisted in May, with 33,800 former claimants finding employment since the beginning of the year. Additionally, Florida job postings compiled by Help Wanted OnLine totaled more than 243,000 in May 2012, with most of the openings in medical, IT, sales, and administrative support-related occupations.
“The numbers released today reaffirm that Florida’s unemployment rate has been heading in the right direction under Governor Scott’s leadership,” said DEO Executive Director Hunting F. Deutsch. “We will continue collaborating with our partners at Enterprise Florida and Workforce Florida to create a reemployment system that produces the best workforce in the nation to support Florida’s growing businesses.”
To view the May 2012 monthly employment data visit: www.floridajobs.org/labor-market-information/labor-market-information-press-releases/monthly-press-releases.