Unemployment in Florida dropped to a near 10-year low in March, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced Friday.
The state’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.8 percent in March, lowest since November 2007 as the state added 6,000 jobs over the month.
“I am proud to announce that Florida businesses have created more than 60,000 jobs in 2017 and our job growth rate has exceeded the nation’s rate for five consecutive years,” Scott said. “Florida’s economy is on a roll and now is not the time to let up.”
Locally, unemployment in Collier and Lee Counties fell to 4.0 percent, down 0.3 and 0.4 percentage points respectively from this point in 2016. Governor Rick Scott announced the state’s job numbers while in Naples on Friday at Pelican Wire Company.
““Pelican Wire Company is one of the many Southwest Florida businesses that helped the Naples and Fort Myers areas add nearly 5,000 new jobs over the past year,” Scott said. “I was proud to recognize this successful Florida small business today for their commitment to creating new opportunities and I look forward to seeing their continued growth.”
The uptick comes after a slow February which saw the state shed a few hundred jobs, but it’s nothing like the gangbusters January the state had, adding nearly 51,000 jobs to start the year.
Even still, Florida outperforms the nation on a handful of metrics. The state’s labor force grew six times faster than the rest of the country, as the state continues to benefit from interstate and international migration. Florida’s labor force also grew at nearly twice the rate of its working-age population, meaning more people are jumping into the job market as well.
Florida’s annual job growth rate, at 3.2 percent, also outperforms the nation at 1.7 percent.
“Businesses in Florida continue to grow and create new jobs for families all across our state,” said Cissy Proctor, executive director of the DEO. “This month, we’re celebrating an important milestone in our state’s strong economic recovery, as we mark five years of consistently outperforming the nation in our private-sector job growth.”
UNEMPLOYMENT BY METRO AREA
Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, 3.6 percent
Gainesville, 3.7 percent
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, 3.9 percent
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, 3.9 percent
T-5 Cape Coral-Fort Myers, 4.0 percent
T-5 Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, 4.0 percent
UNEMPLOYMENT BY COUNTY
Monroe, 2.8 percent
St. Johns, 3.3 percent
Wakulla, 3.5 percent
Okaloosa, 3.5 percent
Lafayette, 3.6 percent
T-19 Collier, Lee, 4.0 percent
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