Study: Big Demand for Florida Workers, but Wages, Benefits Lower

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A study shows that Florida workers are in big demand in the state, but their wages and benefits are below national averages.

Another bit of good news: Florida's poverty rate is about one percent below the national average. The two surveys are cited in Florida International University's annual State of Working Florida report.

Florida has one of the nation's lowest unemployment rates, 3.8 percent in July. It has seen job growth of eight percent over the last four years.

But the Florida International report found that while the state is producing jobs, most are in low-paying sectors. From 2000 to 2004, the state lost lucrative manufacturing and information-services jobs, but added lower-paying construction, leisure and professional-service jobs.

The U.S. Labor Department reports that the median hourly wage in Florida in 2004 was $12.36, more than a dollar off the national average of $13.83 cents.