Florida, Jacksonville Unemployment Rate Ticks Down, Labor Force Participation Sees Small Growth

Dec 22, 2017

Florida’s November jobs report shows slow, but steady improvement in the Sunshine State’s job market.

According to the state Department of Economic Opportunity and the Governor’s office, the Jacksonville area added more than 18,000 jobs between November of last year and November of this year.

“Statewide, nearly 1.5 million jobs have been created since December 2010 and we will keep working to secure Florida’s future as the best place for job creators and families to succeed,” Gov. Rick Scott said in a news release Friday.

The River City’s unemployment rate was clocked at 3.6 percent, down just more than a percentage point from a year ago.

Statewide, Florida businesses created close to 14,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate tracked exactly with Jacksonville, also at 3.6 percent.

The industries with the highest growth over the year in Jacksonville were trade, transportation and utilities with more than 8,000 of those jobs added, followed by professional and business services.

The Jacksonville metro area is also in the top five for jobs demand in Florida with more than 20,000 openings, many of them in the high-skill, high-wage Science Technology Engineering and Math industries.

Labor force participation also rose by 2 percent, but that rate has yet to reach pre-recession levels of 64 percent participation. Of the 17,045,000 included in the Sunshine State’s working-age civilian population, 10,123,000 are employed or unemployed but actively looking for work.

Reporter Ryan Benk can be reached at rbenk@wjct.org, 904-358-6319 or on Twitter @RyanMichaelBenk