Unemployment in Manatee drops in August

MANATEE - Unemployment in Manatee reversed a three-month summer increase in August when the jobless rate fell to 9.3 percent.

The 0.4-percentage point drop during the month was fanned largely by new positions in trade and retail. Manatee’s jobless rate a year ago was 11.6 percent, according to data released Friday morning by the state labor department.

In Sarasota, the county’s unemployment also eased slightly to 8.9 percent, down from 9 percent the month prior and 10.9 percent during the same time last year.

The two-county region has gained 1,700 new jobs in the past year, but 27,258 workers remain unemployed from a labor force of 300,201, records show.

Across Florida, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 8.8 percent in August, but more than 28,000 new private sector jobs were created — the highest over-the-month change since April 2011.

The August jobless rate was 1.7 percentage points lower than the 10.5 percent a year ago.

“The month of August showed that 28,000 more Floridians found employment in the private sector and are able to provide for their families,” Gov. Rick Scott in a statement. “This increase in new jobs is proving that the decisions we’re making here in Florida are pointing our state in the right direction. Employers are aware of the talented and skilled workforce we have here, and the August numbers prove that the economic climate in Florida is one that encourages job creation and economic development.”

For more on this story, see or pick up a copy of Saturday’s Bradenton Herald.

Josh Salman, Herald business writer, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @JoshSalman