The unemployment rate in the Suncoast region fell to 4.5 percent in August, a big drop from 5.2 percent this time a year ago and down from 4.8 percent in July, according to figures released Friday.
Statewide, the news wasn’t as positive.
Even as Florida continues to add jobs at a healthy rate, including more than 22,000 in the private sector in August, the state’s unemployment rate remained at 4.7 percent in August for the fourth consecutive month, an indication the job growth can’t keep pace with the surging population.
That said, the news was better locally.
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4.5 percentThe unemployment rate for the Suncoast region, according to numbers released on Friday
Manatee County’s unemployment rate in August was 4.6 percent, down from 4.9 percent a month earlier and 5.3 percent in August 2015.
In Sarasota County, the August unemployment rate was 4.5 percent, bettering the 4.7 percent from July and the 5.1 percent from a year ago.
The industries gaining the most jobs during the past year in the Bradenton-Sarasota area were education and health services (2,500), leisure and hospitality (1,800), professional and business services (1,300), government (700), construction (500) and manufacturing (400).
While speaking at a marketing and production company in Fort Myers, Gov. Rick Scott focused on the 22,600 private-sector positions created in August, bringing the number created this year to 167,700. Though the state’s unemployment rate remained at 4.7 percent for the fourth straight month, it remained the lowest since November 2007.
In August 2015, the state’s unemployment rate was 5.2 percent.
During his speech in Fort Myers, Scott also focused on Florida continuing to outperform several national trends. For example, for the 53rd consecutive month, the state’s job growth rate – it was 3.4 percent in August – exceeded the nation’s growth rate (1.9 percent).
The metro areas in the state that gained the most jobs during the past year were Orlando (51,600 jobs, up 4.4 percent) and Tampa (38,200 jobs, up 3.1 percent).