Florida's jobless rate holds steady at 3.7%


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida officials announced Friday that the state's unemployment rate held steady at 3.7 percent in August. That's slightly lower than the national rate of 3.9 percent.

Florida added 20,500 jobs in the last month. The latest estimates say there are about 375,000 unemployed people out of a workforce of more than 10.2 million.

The state has added 220,200 total jobs since August 2017. During the same time period, California added nearly 349,000 jobs while Texas added more than 394,500.

In the Jacksonville metro area, the industries with the highest growth over the past year were leisure and hospitality, with 5,800 new jobs, and professional and business services with 4,600 jobs. The Jacksonville area had the fifth-highest number of openings among the state's metro area for high-skill, high-wage STEM occupations, with 5,491 online openings.

Florida's overall growth rate for the last 12 months was 2.6 percent, which was ninth in the nation.

DEO Executive Director Cissy Proctor says the state created 20 thousand private-sector jobs over the past month.

“We have a really strong economy right now," Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Cissy Proctor. "If somebody wants to find a job, they are able to find a job. We see also that people are leaving one job to find a better job. They are able to make those decisions right now, because there are so many jobs out there.”

Okaloosa and St. Johns counties had the lowest unemployment rate at 2.9 percent. Hendry County had the highest unemployment rate at 8.3 percent. Putnam's 5.1 percent rate was the fifth highest in Florida last month.

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