For the first time since 2006, Florida’s unemployment dropped to 3.1 percent in November, also adding nearly 202,000 new private-sector jobs, according to U.S. Bureau Labor Statistics (BLS) data.
The unemployment rate has dipped lower twice in more than 40 years, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Florida “continued to experience positive economic indicators throughout 2019” DeSantis said.
“Though we have had a successful year, the state of Florida will not rest on our laurels. Moving forward, I will continue to prioritize investments in Florida’s workforce and infrastructure to provide continued opportunities for our communities to be resilient and prepared for the future.”
According to the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), Florida’s 2.6 percent increase in jobs outpaced the national rate by 1 percent– another record.
In 2019 the Orlando area gained 36,700 jobs, a 2.8 percent increase; the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area gained more than 30,800 jobs, a 2.2-percent increase; and the Miami area 24,700 jobs, a 2 percent increase, according to DEO data.
Private-sector industries that added the most jobs include education and health services with 62,300 new jobs; leisure and hospitality with 38,100 new jobs; professional and business services with 33,600 new jobs; construction with 26,700 new jobs; trade, transportation and utilities with 17,400 new jobs; and financial activities with 11,900 new jobs.
Major cities and metro areas also reported the lowest unemployment rates: 2.7 percent in Miami, 2.6 percent in Orlando, 2.7 percent in Tampa, 2.6 percent in Jacksonville and 2.7 percent in Pensacola.
Monroe County reported lowest unemployment rate in the state of 1.8 percent, followed by St. Johns County (2.2 percent) and Okaloosa County (2.3 percent).
Hendry County had the highest unemployment rate (5.0 percent) in Florida in November 2019, followed by Hardee County (4.4 percent), and Citrus County and Sumter County (4.1 percent each), according to the DEO.