Florida's Unemployment Rate Drops, Slightly

By: Whitney Ray
By: Whitney Ray

They’re construction workers, theme park employees, and cashiers and they’re all looking for work. In March, Florida’s unemployment rate was at a 30 years high, but it’s turning around slightly.

“At least it hasn’t worsened as it had for almost three years the unemployment rates have been increasing every month,” said AWI Chief Economist Rebecca Rust.

While down only two-tenths of a percentage point, the change is providing hope for jobseekers.

“That’s great news because I really need a job,” said Ashley Jones who has been looking for a job for more than a year.

To put the good news in perspective, Florida’s unemployment rate is four percentage points higher than it was last year… and it’s still above the national average.

The monthly drop represents a 15,000 person change in the unemployment statistics. State Economists aren’t sure if the people found jobs or just stopped looking.

“Those who are unemployed are those seeking a job and so if the number of unemployed has declined it could mean they’ve found employment or it could mean they’ve left the labor force,” said Rust.

Economists call the change insignificant. They say in order to establish a trend the unemployment rate would have to continue to decrease over the next three months. The construction industry leads the pack in number of jobs lost, while jobs in private education and health care are growing faster than any other sectors in the state.

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