Unemployment Rate Increases Slightly in March, but It's Called a 'Beauty Mark,' Not a 'Blemish'
Around the State
Florida’s unemployment rate bumped up from 6.2 to 6.3 percent for the month of March, according to a report released Friday from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
Despite the increase, 41,000 more people became employed and 59,000 entered the labor force.
Florida’s solid payroll job growth triggered a surge in the growth of the labor force as workers encouraged by the prospect of finding employment re-entered the labor market. Although this is a sign of an improving labor market, the unemployment rate also ticked up a percentage point as a result, he said.
“Overall, the March employment report for Florida reflects that the recovery of Florida’s labor market continues to outpace and outdistance the recovery of the national labor market,” Snaith continued.
The state’s labor force increased to 9,575,000 for the month and Florida’s labor force participation rate was up 0.3 percent from February at 60.5 percent.
According to the report, Florida created nearly 23,000 jobs over the month in March 2014, leading the nation in payroll increases. Since December 2010, Florida has added 563,900 private-sector jobs.
Gov. Rick Scott spoke on the announcement, lauding the growth of private-sector jobs as good news for Florida’s growing economy.
“March’s job creation number brings more good news for Florida families, this means that more than 20,000 more Floridians will be able to provide for their families,” he said. “Businesses in the state are continuing to create jobs – a total of 563,900 jobs since December 2010. 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.”
Jesse Panuccio, executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, echoed Scott's sentiments.
“Florida’s economic turnaround continued in March, with significant growth in private-sector jobs, high job demand, and an increasing employment reflecting renewed confidence among job seekers," he said. "These positive trends are the result of sound economic policy in Florida.”
Monroe and Walton counties had the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 3.8 percent each, followed by Okaloosa County, which had an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent.
Flagler County had the highest unemployment rate in the state at 9.3 percent, followed by Hendry County (9.1 percent) and Hamilton County, which has an unemployment rate of 8.7 percent.
Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen at Allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonNielsen.