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Florida Unemployment Rates – How Do They Stack Up with the Rest of the Country?

One positive sign of a healthy economy is the decrease in unemployment rates – and Florida is definitely heading in the right direction. Hit hard by recession and job losses, the Sunshine State has bounced back in a big way, maintaining a steady decline in unemployment rates throughout 2017, all across the state.

Unemployment – Looking at the Numbers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Florida’s unemployment rate in 2017 has undergone a steady decline through the year, along with other indications of a recovering economy. Unemployment hit 4.1 percent in June 2017 and remained steady through July 2017. In both cases, that’s a 0.8 percent decrease from last year, and the lowest rate in Florida in ten years, since June 2007.

June saw an additional 19,400 jobs added to the market, and July added 32,700 jobs – the second-largest gain in the state since January. That brings the total number of new Florida jobs this year to about 375,000. Other interesting numbers:

  • An 8.7 percent increase in tourism in the first half of the year. Tourism ranks at the top in Florida’s industry; in 2016, nearly 112.8 million tourists visited the state, injecting an estimated $109 billion into the Sunshine State’s economy.
  • Monroe County had the lowest unemployment rate at 2.8 percent, followed by St. Johns County at 3.3 percent.
  • Hendry County had the state’s highest unemployment rate at a whopping 10.9 percent. This primarily rural county is one of the few in the state struggling with unemployment, due to a lack of growth outside of their dwindling agriculture industry.

Florida Unemployment Compared to the Rest of the Country

Side-by-side with national numbers, Florida is excelling. Its 4.1 percent unemployment rate is lower than the national average of 4.3 percent – and although it ranks 26th in unemployment in the nation, it has a better rate than major states such as Texas (4.3), New York (4.7) and California (4.8).

Although unemployment rate is an important factor to a healthy economy, wage growth is just as vital. And although wage growth may be an issue in certain parts of the state, the South Florida region is thriving. In fact, a recent Department of Labor report states that the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metro area ranks number one in wage growth over the last year, beating out other metro areas such as Seattle, New York, Dallas, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Looking to the Future – The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund

Although Florida’s economy is undergoing impressive growth, there are still opportunities to look to the future and attract more business to the Sunshine State. As such, Enterprise Florida and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced in July the formation of the new Florida Job Growth Grant Fund.

This $85 million fund is dedicated to economic development, catered toward projects that will do their part to enhance community infrastructure and bolster the workforce. The ultimate goal will be to attract new businesses to Florida, providing a new way to create jobs and economic growth for Florida residents.

With project proposals accepted from community-driven organizations such as local governments, community colleges, and local government organizations, Florida is investing a considerable amount of money into the future of its economy and its people. The employment attorneys at Florin Gray are dedicated to fair employment practices throughout the state of Florida. If you feel that you are being discriminated they are can help you determine if you have a case.

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