Florida’s December 2009 employment figures released

TALLAHASSEE — Florida’s unemployment rate jumped again in December 2009, to 11.8 percent — meaning there are 1,087,000 jobless Floridians out of a labor force of 9,180,000.

Unemployment is up 0.3 percentage point from November’s rate of 11.5 percent and up 4.2 percentage points from the December 2008.

Industries losing the most jobs are construction; trade, transportation, and utilities; and professional and business services. These three industries account for approximately two-thirds of the job losses in the state. Health care has been Florida’s only growth sector for most of 2009.

The state’s current unemployment rate is 1.8 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate of 10.0 percent and is the highest since May 1975, when it was 11.9 percent.

Florida’s total nonagricultural employment in December 2009 is 7,343,700, representing a job loss of 232,400, or -3.1 percent, compared to December 2008. The trend of annual declines began in August 2007. Florida’s rate of job decline has moderated over the last few months, moving from -5.4 percent in March 2009 to -3.1 percent in December 2009.

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