Florida jobless rate unchanged in July


Fewer Floridians were working in July than in June, but the state's jobless rate remained unchanged during the first full month of summer.

The unemployment rate stood at 4.7 percent in July, the same as in June, according to the state Department of Economic Opportunity. The preliminary numbers estimate that 456,000 Floridians qualified as unemployed in July out of a workforce of 9.7 million. The numbers indicate that the workforce shrunk by 20,000 from month to month, while the overall number of people out of work grew by 1,000.

"I am proud to announce today that Florida businesses created more than 26,000 new jobs last month," Scott said. 

The numbers showed the Jacksonville area added 22,200 new private-sector jobs in the past year and the unemployment over that time dropped 0.8 percent to 4.9 percent. The industries with the largest job growth over the year in the Jacksonville area were trade, transportation and utilities with 4,600 new jobs; education and health services with 4,300 new jobs; leisure and hospitality with 4,300 new jobs; and construction with 4,000 new jobs. 

In a news release, Gov. Rick Scott focused on the creation of new jobs by private businesses.

Leisure and hospitality jobs have grown by 41,100 since July 2015, while construction jobs are up 26,400 and government positions have increased by 18,200 in the same time. The area of the state with the lowest jobless rate remains Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys, at 3.3 percent.

The county's rate was up from 3.1 percent in June. St. Johns County in Northeast Florida was next lowest at 3.8 percent. The agricultural Hendry County continued to have the state's highest rate at 11.7 percent in July, up from 10 percent a month earlier. The nation's unemployment mark also remained unchanged, at 4.9 percent, from June to July.