Jacksonville unemployment dips to 5.5%

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville Metropolitan Statistical Area gained 17,000 new jobs over the year in November, according to the unemployment numbers released by the Governor's Office on Friday.

The Jacksonville MSA's unemployment rate declined by 0.5 percent over the year, from 6 percent in November 2013 to 5.5 percent this November.

Officials said Florida businesses have added 715,700 private-sector jobs since December 2010, far surpassing Gov. Rick Scott's goal to create 700,000 jobs in seven years.

"Jacksonville businesses have created 17,000 new jobs over the year, which means more Floridians in Jacksonville are able to provide for their families," Scott said. "Florida is continuing to see incredible growth across the state, and today we announced that our goal of creating 700,000 jobs in seven years was reached in less than four years. We will keep working to continue our momentum to make Florida the top destination for business and opportunities in the world."

The industries with the largest job gains over the year were professional and business services, with 7,000 new jobs, and leisure and hospitality, with 3,500 new jobs.

In November, the Jacksonville MSA had 19,417 online job openings and had 4,606 online openings for high-wage, high-skill science technology engineering math (STEM) jobs, officials said.

They said Florida created 38,600 private-sector jobs in November, the highest single month of private-sector job growth since Scott took office.

Florida's statewide unemployment rate for November was 5.8 percent, down 0.7 percentage point from the November 2013 rate and the lowest rate since May 2008.

To view the November 2014 employment data, go to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity's website.

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