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Florida’s unemployment rate is still tops among nation’s largest states

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(The Center Square) — The latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that while unemployment rates have dipped slightly, Florida has the lowest unemployment rate out of the top five largest states.

According to the BLS news release, based on two monthly surveys, the U.S. unemployment rate for June 2023 decreased by one-tenth to 3.6%, while total non-farm payroll jobs increased by 209,000.

Government, social assistance, health care and construction were all noted to have had upward trends in employment. However, over 6 million people were still unemployed as of June.

Out of the top five most populated states, Florida’s unemployment rate exceeds the others by a good margin. BLS statistics show that as of May 2023, Florida had an unemployment rate of 2.6% which has remained unchanged since December 2022.

In contrast, California has an unemployment rate of 4.5%, Texas is at 4.1%, Pennsylvania sits at 4%, and New York is 3.9%, all above the national average.

In May 2023, the Sunshine State’s civil labor force was 10.98 million, of which 287,000 were unemployed. Total non-farm wage and salary employment was 9.73 million, an increase of 106,000 since December 2022, according to the Bureau’s preliminary data.

The non-seasonally adjusted data also shows that most industries in Florida are experiencing growth, including construction work, manufacturing, logging and mining, professional and business, and healthcare and education.

Gov. Ron DeSantis credited Florida’s ‘Freedom First’ policies for the continuing growth in employment opportunities after he announced that Florida’s unemployment rate remained the lowest among the ten largest states for the twelfth consecutive month in June.

According to DeSantis, between May 2022 and May 2023, Florida’s labor force grew by 246,000 people — a 2.3% increase, almost one percentage point higher than the national labor force growth rate of 1.5%.

Regionally, Florida also outpaces its Southern neighbors for civilian labor force and unemployment rates, with the exception being Alabama which had an unemployment rate of 2.2% as of May. Georgia’s unemployment rate sits at 3.2%, while Mississippi’s is below the national average at 3.2%.

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