Fla. unemployment rate drops to 6.4%

Author: Christopher Yazbec, News editor, News4Jax.com, cyazbec@wjxt.com
Associated Press
Published On: Dec 20 2013 10:21:58 AM EST   Updated On: Dec 20 2013 12:52:51 PM EST
Job ad, unemployment
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

Florida's unemployment rate keeps dropping.

Florida's unemployment rate for November was 6.4 percent. In October, the state's jobless rate was 6.7 percent.

This is the lowest that Florida's unemployment rate has been since July 2008. The national unemployment rate is 7 percent.

DOCUMENT: Florida’s November employment figures released

In Duval County, the unemployment rate dropped to 6.2 percent from 6.5 percent. St. Johns County held steady at 4.9 percent.

Clay County's rate dropped slightly to 5.6 percent from 5.7 percent. And Nassau County's rate remained the same at 5.5 percent.

"The addition of more than 11,000 new jobs in Jacksonville means more individuals will be able to provide for their families during the holidays," Gov. Rick Scott said. "While this is great news, we'll continue working hard to grow jobs for families in northeast Florida."

In November 2013, the industries with the largest job gains over the year in the Jacksonville metro area were professional and business services with 6,400 jobs, trade, transportation, and utilities with 4,900 jobs, and construction with 3,300 jobs. The Jacksonville metro area has the fastest annual job growth rate in construction at 12 percent.

Housing starts in the Jacksonville metro area were up 7.5 percent over the year in October. The area was among the top six metros in Florida for online job demand with 19,289 openings and ranked fifth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) job openings with 4,696 job ads. Those jobs are considered high wage and high skill.

The new figures show that the state added 6,100 jobs last month. Nearly 600,000 people in the state are out of work.

Scott has contended the state's unemployment rate is dropping due to his policies.

But state economists have said another reason for the decline is that people were leaving the labor force or had delayed their job search.