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Florida’s unemployment rate continues to trend below national average

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(The Center Square) — Recently released statistics show that Florida’s unemployment rate remains below the national average.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of February 2024, the Sunshine State has an unemployment rate of 3.1%, an increase of 0.3% from February 2023. The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate currently sits around 3.9%.

Preliminary data shows that Florida has a labor force of just over 11 million with 345,000 Floridians out of work. While Florida’s seasonally adjusted total nonagricultural employment reached nearly 9.89 million in February, jobs decreased by -0.1% or 5,500 jobs over the month.

Florida is also outpacing the national average for job creation after gaining 226,200 jobs over the past year, an increase of 2.3%, while national job numbers only rose by 1.8%. Miami-Dade County had the lowest unemployment rate at 1.6%, while Citrus County had the highest unemployment rate in Florida at 5.2% in February 2024.

Over the past year, there has also been growth in nine out of 10 major industries, with education and health gaining the most jobs adding over 57,000 jobs, an increase of 4%. Trade, transportation and utilities had an increase of 2.5% and added 48,300 jobs, while leisure and hospitality added over 35,000 jobs, a 2.7% increase.

Florida’s information industry was the only industry to take a significant hit, losing around 900 jobs, a decrease of 0.6%.

The Bureau further reported that North Dakota had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation at 2%, while South Dakota followed closely behind with a rate of 2.1%. California now has the highest unemployment rate at 5.3%, eclipsing Nevada slightly which has a rate of 5.2%.

Alabama saw its labor force increase over the past year, rising from 2.2 million to 2.32 million by February while the overall unemployment rate rose from 2.3% to 3%. Georgia’s workforce increased from 5.26 million to 5.33 million within a year, while its unemployment rate dropped from 3.2% to 3.1%.

Texas has an overall labor force of 15.1 million, having increased over the year from 14.95 million. The Lone Star State also has an unemployment rate of 3.95, a slight improvement from 4% a year ago.

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