Florida Unemployment Rate Drops To 8.5 Percent for October


Recently, the Department of Economic Opportunity announced that Florida’s unemployment rate dropped from 0.2 percent in October to 8.5 percent. This figure is the lowest it has been since December 2008. In a nationwide scale, the unemployment rate for the month is 7.9 percent.

Last month, the state of Florida has added 14,700 jobs and the number of workforce participants has increased for two consecutive months and now stands at 9,342,000, which is a 22-month high. Furthermore, throughout the first half of the year, employees were leaving the labor force at a steady pace. However, there are still 790,000 workers in Florida that are unemployed.

Gov. Rick Scott highlighted increased jobs in the private sector. In October, federal, state and local government jobs have increased by 2,600 positions. According to Scott, “In October 12,100 more Floridians found employment in the private sector and the incomes that allow them to provide for their families, particularly with the holidays approaching,” He added, “My number one goal is to create jobs for Florida families and get this state back to work. There is still more work that needs to be done, but I’m confident we’re on the right path.”

For the past twelve months, the professional and business services industry has dramatically grown with an addition of 25,600 jobs. Moreover, the trade, transportation and utilities and private education and health services sectors have also increased in man power, adding more than 23,000 jobs. Those gains have been tempered by losses in the public sector, which shed 12,900 jobs in the past twelve months. Likewise, the construction industry is still fighting the effects of the housing bust, at that time more than 4,900 were lost.

Although, the construction industry continued to lose jobs in the first half of the year, it is slowly recovering in the second half of 2012. State economists foretell that the jobs will decline slightly in the current fiscal year, however will grow at least five percent by the fiscal year of 2013-2014.

Regardless of an increase in total home sales, the housing sector continues to have a slow recovery. Experts estimated that another round of foreclosures will hit the market next year, depressing sale prices. The Cape Coral-Fort Myers and Daytona Beach metro areas have experienced the biggest 12-month job losses among Florida metros, plummeting to 2,800 jobs and 2,100 jobs, correspondingly. Job losses can be beyond someone control but it can influence Southwest Florida foreclosures and people downsizing their homes.
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