Not to be lost amid all of the Hurricane Irma aftermath across Florida: The state’s unemployment rate dropped again in August and is at its lowest point in more than a decade.
The state’s jobless rate was 4 percent last month, down from 4.1 percent in July and 4.9 percent in August 2016, according to a report Friday by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
According to the DEO figures, there were 408,000 jobless Floridians among a labor force of nearly 10.1 million.
Locally, at 3.9 percent, the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton region’s unemployment rate was a tick lower than the state average. Only Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (3.8), Gainesville (3.8) and Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin (3.3) were lower among the state’s 24 metropolitan areas.
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Manatee County’s jobless rate remained at 4.0 percent, though that’s down from 4.8 percent in August 2016.
In Sarasota County, the rate was 3.9 percent for the second consecutive month and a drop from 4.8 percent a year earlier.
The Tampa Bay area, which includes the Bradenton-Sarasota region, ranked second to Orlando in August for adding jobs year-over-year with 39,600. Orlando had 40,000.
During the past year, Florida added 221,400 jobs, an increase of 2.6 percent, while the number of jobs nationally rose 1.4 percent. The state’s year-over-year job growth rate has exceeded the nation’s since May 2012, and Florida has had 85 consecutive months with year-over-year increases.
The industries with the most year-over-year job gains in August across the state:
- Professional and business services (42,600);
- Construction (35,000);
- Trade, transportation and utilities (32,300);
- Education and health services (30,500);
- Leisure and hospitality (27,900);
- Other services (21,800);
- Manufacturing (12,100);
- Financial activities (9,900 jobs);
- Government (8,800).
Hendry County had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 10.2 percent, while Monroe County was the lowest at 2.7 percent.
Meanwhile, the nation’s unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4 percent, though that remains near a 16-year low as the economic recovery from the Great Recession continues.
Nineteen states, including Florida, had jobless rates below the U.S. figure in August.