Unemployment Rate Continues to Drop in Florida


With 19,000 new private sector jobs created in May, the state unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent, Gov. Rick Scott announced on Friday.

In April, the unemployment rate stood at 3.9 percent in Florida. A year ago, it stood at 4.2 percent. Those figures mirror the national unemployment rate which dropped from 3.9 percent to 3.8 percent from April to May. Despite that, Florida has an annual job growth rate of 2.4 percent over the past year compared to 1.9 percent at the national level.

Scott pointed to almost 180,000 new jobs over the past year and more than 1.5 million created under his watch.

“Florida’s growing economy is producing real results for families across our state,” Scott said on Friday. “Every month, private-sector businesses are adding jobs, dropping our unemployment, making it easier for every Floridian to find great work. When I became governor, I set out to create an environment where our private sector could flourish – and that remains my focus as we continue to outpace the nation. It’s clear – cutting taxes and investing in what matters to families works, and the rest of the country should take notice.”

Professional and business services have led the way in job growth with 39,200 new jobs in Florida over the past year, followed by 37,200 new jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector, 31,300 new construction jobs and 24,500 new education and health services jobs. The only industry that lost jobs in Florida over the past year has been in the information sector which has seen the loss of 2,200 jobs in that time.

In May, Okaloosa and St. Johns counties had the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.6 percent each followed by Monroe county where it stood at 2.7 percent and Walton County at 2.8 percent.

Hendry and Sumter counties had the highest unemployment rate in the state last month at 5 percent last month followed by Citrus County at 4.8 percent and Putnam County at 4.5 percent.

Cissy Proctor, the executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, cheered the continued job growth on Friday.

“Florida’s economy is thriving under Governor Scott’s leadership and through our efforts to grow and attract businesses,” Proctor said. “Our talented workforce and quality infrastructure support continued economic prosperity in the Sunshine State. Since 2010, more than 1.5 million jobs have been created showing the nation that Florida is the best state in the nation to live the American Dream.”