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Data shows Florida cities have unemployment rates below the national average

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(The Center Square) — Federal data shows Florida cities are again outperforming cities in other highly populated states regarding unemployment rates.

Preliminary numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Statistics released on Friday show that metropolitan areas in the Sunshine State have an unemployment rate ranging from 2.3% in the Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin metro area to 3.9% in Homosassa Springs.

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area, home to the state’s most populous city of Miami, boasts a 2.4% unemployment rate and ranks 44th in the U.S.

In comparison, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metro area has an unemployment rate of 4.5%, ranked 348th. Las Vegas’s statistical metro area has a rate of 5.6% (No. 371), while the New York-Newark-Jersey City metro area has a rate of 4.1% and a rank of 321. In May 2023, the U.S. unemployment rate was 3.7%.

Other metropolitan areas in Florida lower than the 3.7% national rate are: Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Orlando, Sarasota, Palm Bay, Pensacola, Tampa, Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Gainesville, Port St. Lucie, Daytona Beach, Punta Gorda, Sebastian, Lakeland-Winter Haven, and Ocala, all averaging a rate of 3% or lower according to BLS data.

The Villages metro area, located west of Orlando, has a rate of 3.7% but is also home to a large retirement community, as are some other metro areas in Florida that are among the oldest counties in the nation.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity reported that in May 2023, Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.6%, down 0.3% from the previous year. According to recent data from the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, the state’s seasonally-adjusted labor force participation rate is 59.4%.

The DEO report also noted that Florida’s seasonally adjusted non-agricultural employment had increased by 17,500 jobs over the month of May 2023, and the state gained a total of 346,600 jobs over the year.

Health services and education added 99,300 jobs, an increase of 7.2%. Leisure and hospitality also added 86,200 jobs, a 7% increase, while trade, transportation, and utilities added an additional 48,000 jobs, increasing by 2.5%.

The information sector was the only industry that lost jobs over the year with a 3,800 decrease in employment opportunities.

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