Northeast Florida unemployment rate decreases below national average, October jobs report shows

The new jobs report is out for October and while it shows some growth — with more than 261,000 jobs — it also shows a slight uptick in unemployment.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The new jobs report is out for October and while it shows some growth — with more than 261,000 jobs — it also shows a slight uptick in unemployment.

News4JAX spoke with local job seekers on Friday to find out their challenges in looking for employment.

Karen Riley said she has been on the job hunt for about two months.

“I never filed for unemployment, ever, my mindset was that, there’s no such thing as not working,” said Riley.

She’s a former member of the Navy turned jack of all trades from working in schools to construction work, and now she has found herself seeking help from Career Source.

“The people have been beautiful and nice and you know, walking me through everything,” said Riley.

While 261,000 jobs have been added in the last month from health care to manufacturing, Riley is still reflected on the list of those on the Department of Labor’s report released Nov. 4.

In September, the national unemployment rate sat at a 3.5-percent. Fast forward to October, pre-election unemployment numbers have increased to 3.7 percent.

“It’s the same issue that we’re seeing for every community across the country, the unemployment rate ticked up slightly, that’s partially as a result of the Federal Reserve’s actions to raise interest rates,” said Don Graves, Deputy Commerce Secretary.

The report also breaks down the numbers by race and it shows the rate rose to 3.2-percent for white job seekers, 5.9-percent for Black people, 4.2-percent for Hispanics, and 2.9-percent for Asians.

“We’re down more than 10-percent, from where we were, at the beginning of the or during the heart of the pandemic. We know that African Americans are finding jobs all across the country,” said Deputy Graves. “And the most important part of this is that the black community is getting jobs in industries that they hadn’t received, been able to get access to before.”

Riley is happy to hear that things will look up on the job front, but she said getting the job she wants soon sounds even better.

In Northeast Florida, specifically for the Jacksonville region, the unemployment rate decreased slightly from 2.8 to 2.5-percent, lower than the national average.

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