Job Growth

There is good news Friday about Florida’s economy. The Sunshine State continues to lead the nation in job growth and the unemployment rate continues to drop, but some sectors of the job market are still struggling and that can make it frustrating for people looking for work.

GTO Incorporated has added 17 employees over the past six months to keep up with a growing demand for the security gates it manufactures.

GTO president Joe Kelley says Florida’s great business climate helped make it happen. When his company needed to expand, local and state officials were ready to help with the permitting process.

“They responded positively, can-do attitude, and bottom line is, we have a state-of-the-art facility that's now 100,000 square feet,” says Joe.

GTO’s expansion is part of an overall trend of improving economic numbers. Florida’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.6 percent last month, down from 5.3 percent at the same time last year.

Florida continues to lead the nation in job growth, adding 172,000 non-farming jobs over the past year, but not all the numbers are good. In spite of GTO’s strong performance, manufacturing overall continues to struggle, and more than 380,000 Floridians are out of work.

Carla Delaney Williams is looking for a clerical job. She says the job market is still a tough one.

“Even some of my college friends who’ve just graduated, they’re starting to realize that, you know, it’s not as easy as they said it would be. They’re looking for jobs now,” says Carla.

And as health care and fuel costs continue to soar, even successful businesses admit the economy’s not out of the woods yet. Statistics also show jobs in industries that are growing in Florida pay an average of 15 percent less than jobs that are leaving the state.