Florida unemployment rate up slightly

Northeast Florida's jobless rate remains flat in March

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Florida's unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 6.3 percent in March.
The numbers released Friday morning represent a 0.1 percent increase in the jobless rate over February and a slight setback in the forward movement of the state's economy.

The jobless rate in Jacksonville Metropolitan Statistical Area remained flat in March.  At 5.2 and 5.0 percent receptively, St. Johns and Alachua counties continue to have among the lowest unemployment rates in the state, while Flagler County resumed the distinction of having the highest rate in the state: 9.3 percent. (Full county-by-county statistics at bottom of this article.)

The state added 22,900 jobs in March but the labor force increased by 59,000 people, causing the increase. There were just over 600,000 unemployed in the state, about 17,000 more than there were in February.

The news didn't stop Gov. Rick Scott from touting that March's unemployment rate was lower than the national rate of 6.7 percent, down 1.4 percent from the state's unemployment rate one year ago.  Scott also pointed out the 3.0 percent increase in jobs last month "represents the fastest job growth rate since June 2006."

"Our improving economy is evidence that our policies are working and we will continue to work until every Floridian that wants a job can get a job," Scott said in a release.

According to state statistics, Northeast Florida gained 19,200 jobs over the past year.

March 2014February 2014March 2013
Alachua County5.0%5.0%5.4%
Baker County5.6%5.5%7.2%
Bradford County5.4%5.3%5.9%
Clay County5.6%5.7%6.5%
Columbia County6.2%6.2%6.8%
Duval County6.6%6.6%7.6%
Flagler County9.3%9.4%10.3%
Nassau County5.6%5.7%6.2%
Putnam County8.5%8.7%9.7%
St. Johns County 5.2%5.3%5.8%
Union County5.8%5.8%6.3%

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