Florida’s unemployment rate remains at 4.9 percent

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida’s unemployment remains slightly above the national rate, but Hendry County lags behind.

State officials on Friday announced the December unemployment remained at 4.9 percent, the same as November and 0.2 percentage points above the nation’s jobless rate. Hendry County had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 8 percent, followed by Citrus County at 6.7 percent and Sumter County at 6.6 percent.

Monroe County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 3 percent, followed by Hamilton County at 3.4 percent and St. Johns County at 3.6 percent.

The Fort Myers area added 5,600 new private-sector jobs with a December unemployment rate of 4.3 percent, the governor’s office said. The Naples area added 2,900 new private-sector jobs and the area’s December unemployment rate was 4.5 percent.

The industries with the largest job gains in Fort Myers over the year were leisure and hospitality with 1,500 new jobs, professional and business services with 1,100 new jobs and education and health services with 1,000 new jobs. In December, the Fort Myers area had 7,197 job openings, including 1,120 high-skill, high-wage STEM occupations.

The industry with the most job growth in Naples over the year was construction with 1,100 new jobs. In December, the Naples area had 4,032 job openings, including 703 high-skill, high-wage STEM occupations.

Despite unemployment rising slightly in October and November, Florida’s rate is 0.2 percentage points lower than 12 months earlier.
There were 491,000 jobless Floridians out of a workforce of more than 9.9 million people. The state lost 700 jobs last month, but gained 251,400 over the year.


Author: Associated Press
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