Jacksonville Adds 18K New Jobs As Number Of Employed Floridians Hits 10M For 1st Time

Aug 16, 2019

Governor Ron DeSantis has announced that Jacksonville added 18,100 new private-sector jobs over the past year as the number of employed Floridians surpassed 10 million for the first time.

“I am proud of our work to ensure Florida remains a state where businesses are encouraged to grow and create jobs,” said Governor DeSantis. “We are continuing to prioritize policies that promote economic growth, including lowering taxes, smart investments in the environment and working to make Florida the best state in the nation for workforce education.”

Between July 2018 and July 2019, 128,000 people entered the state’s labor force, marking an annual growth rate of 1.3%.

Florida had an unemployment rate of 3.3% in July 2019, down .2% over the year, and an annual private-sector job growth rate of 2.8%, outpacing the national rate of 1.7%. Florida’s private-sector businesses created more than 218,000 jobs over the year and 28,200 in July alone.

U.S. and Florida unemployment rates, seasonally adjusted.
Credit Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

The industries that saw the most job gains over the year were education and health services with 65,900 new jobs; professional and business services with 41,900; leisure and hospitality with 25,900; trade, transportation and utilities with 23,000; construction with 21,300 and financial activities with 18,200.

Jacksonville’s unemployment rate was at 3.5% for the month, down .2% from July 2018, and the city was one of the top five metro areas in the state for online job demand with 27,157 openings. Of those, 8,264 were for high-skill, high-wage science, technology, engineering and math jobs.

The industries that saw the most growth in the River City were leisure and hospitality with 5,100 new jobs, education and health services with 4,500 and construction with 4,000.

“It’s a job seekers market right now,” said Ken Lawson, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. “Businesses are growing. And the fact that someone can get a job means they can build a life and maybe buy a home, feed their families and live.”

The state has also maintained a strong credit rating. S&P Global Ratings reaffirmed Florida’s ‘AAA’ credit rating last month, pointing to Governor DeSantis’ environmental work, including his plan to appoint the state’s first Chief Resilience Officer and his goal to get $2.5 billion over four years for Everglades restoration and to protect the state’s water resources.

Photo used under Creative Commons license.

Brendan Rivers can be reached at brivers@wjct.org, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.