Ahead of Irma, Florida jobless rate dipped slightly again

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida's unemployment rate is dropping again but the latest number does not reflect the potential impact of Hurricane Irma.

State officials on Friday announced that the state's jobless rate in August was 4 percent and that 408,000 Floridians are unemployed, out of a workforce of 10,095,000. That's a slight drop of 0.1 percent from the previous month. Florida's unemployment rate is below the national rate of 4.4 percent.

The surveys, however, that are used to calculate the rate were done before Hurricane Irma slammed into the state.

During August, Florida added 20,100 jobs. The state has added more than 221,000 jobs in the past year. Only Texas and California have added more jobs in the past year.

Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys, had the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 2.7 percent. The Keys have been badly damaged by the storm.

Monroe was followed by St. Johns County at 3.2 percent and Walton and Okaloosa counties at 3.3 percent.

Hendry County had the highest unemployment rate at 10.2 percent. It was followed by Hardee County at 7.1 percent and Glades County at 6.3 percent.

The overall 4 percent rate is seasonally adjusted, while the county numbers are not.


The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.