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Florida records its highest unemployment rate in more than two years

Florida’s unemployment rate hit a more than two-year high in April, marking the second straight month of an increase.

According to the Department of Commerce, the unemployment rate was estimated at 3.3 percent, with 361,000 Floridians classified as unemployed.

This represents an increase of 8,000 unemployed compared to March, while the labor force fell slightly to 11.095 million.

Strong job growth in a context of rising unemployment

Despite the rise in unemployment, the state reported robust job growth. The Commerce Department’s head of workforce statistics and economic research stressed that the unemployment rate remains low by historical standards.

The national unemployment rate was 3.9 percent in April, slightly higher than Florida’s.

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Employment in the private sector is increasing

The state remains favorable for job seekers, with private sector employment increasing by 42,600 jobs in April.

The number of vacancies exceeded the number of unemployed, indicating a healthy labor market.

The state’s unemployment rate was 3.2 percent in March, down from 3.1 percent after three months. The lowest recorded unemployment rate was 2.4 percent in the spring of 2006.

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Governor highlights state rankings

Governor Ron DeSantis highlighted Florida’s strong performance in education and the economy, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

Despite the slight increase in unemployment, the state remains below the national average, which has remained below 4 percent since January 2022.

Regional unemployment variations

In April, only Florida and Maryland saw increases in unemployment rates, each rising 0.1 percentage points. In April 2023, the rate in Florida was 2.7 percent, with the labor force growing by 148,000 year over year.

The number of unemployed increased by 61,000 in the same period.

Sector-specific employment gains

The report showed modest employment gains across several sectors. The construction sector added 400 jobs, manufacturing grew by 2,300 jobs, education and healthcare grew by 6,300 jobs, and the leisure and hospitality sector saw an increase of 9,200 jobs.

Lowest and highest unemployment rates by region

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metropolitan area continued to have the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.7 percent, unchanged from March.

The Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island and Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin areas reported rates of 2.9 percent.

The highest unemployment rate was in the Homosassa Springs area at 4.9 percent, followed by The Villages at 4.7 percent and Sebring at 4.6 percent.