Florida’s unemployment rate hits lowest point since September 2008

Florida’s unemployment rate for April 2013 was 7.2 percent, the lowest since September 2008 and down 0.3 percentage points from March’s rate of 7.5 percent. Over the month, Florida added 16,700 private sectors jobs.

The state’s jobless rate continues to fall below the national average of 7.5 percent for April.

“Growing jobs is our top priority and this legislative session we eliminated barriers on manufacturers to ensure Florida is a top destination for manufacturing jobs,” said Gov. Rick Scott, who today is signing a new manufacturing tax break into law. “Just last week we also welcomed Hertz to Florida and are excited they have chosen to relocate their corporate headquarters to the Sunshine State.”

Since December 2010, Florida’s statewide unemployment rate has dropped nearly four percentage points, from a rate of 11.1 percent to April’s 7.2 percent. In the same timeframe, the national unemployment rate dropped 1.8 percentage points, demonstrating Florida’s improving economic climate continues to outpace the national recovery. Florida’s unemployment rate has now declined year-over-year for 30 consecutive months.

More Jobs Being Created

  • With the addition of 16,700 private sector jobs over the month, Florida has experienced positive annual job growth now for 33 consecutive months. This adds up to 330,000 new private sector jobs created in Florida since December 2010.
  • Florida job postings increased in April 2013 compared to the previous April by 7,977 (+3.2 percent), for a total of 255,567 openings (seasonally adjusted) according to the Help Wanted OnLine data series from the Conference Board.
  • Florida’s job growth month-to-month has been positive for 21 of the last 22 months.
  •  Florida is expected to create more than 900,000 new jobs by 2018, according to the Florida Economic Estimating Conference.
  • Job postings for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) occupations in Florida compiled by the Help Wanted OnLine data series from The Conference Board totaled 58,637 (seasonally adjusted) openings in April 2013. Over the year, STEM job postings were up by 3,842 openings (+7.0 percent) compared to April 2012.  Over the month, STEM demand in April increased by 2,931 openings (+5.3 percent) from the 55,637 postings in March 2013.

Unemployment Continues to Decline

  • Florida’s unemployment rate has now declined year-over-year for 30 consecutive months.
  • Initial claims for Reemployment Assistance benefits were down by 10.1 percent from one year ago.

Home Sales Robust

  • Home sales remain robust as the backlog of existing homes on the market is down by 33 percent from March 2012 (Florida Realtors).
  • Florida housing starts were up over the year in March 2013 (the most recent month available) by 41.1 percent and median home prices were up 15.9 percent in March 2013 over the year.

Economic Growth Trends Up Across State

  • A recent U.S. Census Survey reported that Florida experienced an influx of people moving into the state. Florida also led the nation in migrations from Puerto Rico.
  • Florida is running a trade surplus of over $24 billion – with $86.8 billion in exports and $62.4 billion in imports in 2011, up from $73.1 billion in exports in 2010 and $53.2 billion in imports in 2010.

Workforce Boards Assisting in Employment

  • In April, Florida’s 24 Regional Workforce Boards reported more than 41,300 Floridians were placed in jobs. An individual who receives employment and training assistance through a One-Stop Career Center and finds a job within 180 days is deemed a placement and may be reported by a regional workforce board. Of these individuals, 11,457 previously received Reemployment Assistance.
  •  In 2012, more than 426,000 Floridians were placed in jobs, with nearly 111,173 former claimants finding employment.

To view the April 2013 monthly employment data visit: www.floridajobs.org/labor-market-information/labor-market-information-press-releases/monthly-press-releases.

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