Florida jobless rate dipped in April as state adds jobs

State says Jacksonville area gained 19,000 jobs in past year

To read more about the states with the most jobs, click here.
To read more about the states with the most jobs, click here. (iStock)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida officials announced Friday that the unemployment rate dipped to 4.5 percent in April. That's a slight decline from March when the rate was 4.8 percent.

Florida's unemployment rate remains slightly higher than the national rate.

Florida added 10,900 jobs in April, which put it behind several other states in the nation, but the state's 2.9 percent job growth rate in the past year is among the highest in the nation, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

"Jacksonville-area businesses created 19,000 jobs over the year in April, which means thousands more Floridians have opportunities to get great jobs and provide for their families," Gov. Rick Scott said.

The industries with the most job growth in the Jacksonville area over the year were trade, transportation and utilities, with 4,700 jobs; and education and health services, with 4,600 jobs. 

Scott highlighted the job numbers during a visit to Miami International Airport. He used the event to criticize the Florida Legislature for cutting back funding to the state's tourism, marketing and economic development agencies.

Monroe County had the state's lowest unemployment rate, at 2.6 percent, but St. Johns County's is 3 percent is the second lowest in Florida.  

Overall, the Jacksonville metro area had a 3.8 percent jobless rate. Alachua, Bradford, Clay, Nassau and Union counties were lower than the northeast Florida average, while Baker, Columbia and Flagler counties had higher rates.

Putnam County's 4.9 percent rate is the highest in the area and eighth highest in the state.