Unemployment rate in Florida remains at 3.3% in May

Unemployment rate in Florida remains at 3.3% in May

Unemployment rate in Florida remains at 3.3% in May

TALLAHASSEE — As state officials point to issues such as job growth in the construction industry, Florida’s unemployment rate remained at 3.3 percent in May, according to a report released Friday.

The rate was also 3.3 percent in April, after inching up from 3.2 percent in March and 3.1 percent in the previous three months. Florida had an unemployment rate of 2.8 percent in May 2023.

Across Florida, the lowest unemployment rate in May continued to be in South Florida, with the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metropolitan statistical area at 2.6 percent, down from 2.7 percent in April.

The Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island and Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin areas were at 2.7 percent, both falling from 2.9 percent the previous month.

Panama City was next at 2.8 percent, while the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford area was at 2.9 percent.

The highest rate was in the Homosassa Springs area at 4.5 percent, up from 4.9 percent in April. The next highest areas were The Villages and Sebring, both at 4.2 percent.

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The state rate is seasonally adjusted, while metropolitan rates are not adjusted.

The Florida Department of Commerce report said 361,000 people qualified as unemployed last month, the same number as in April. The workforce of 11.08 million decreased by 14,000 from April to May.

Jimmy Heckman, the department’s chief of labor statistics and economic research, called the monthly figures reassuring after the number of unemployed had seen several months of “small increases.”

The labor force grew by 102,000 people between May 2023 and May 2024. The number of unemployed workers increased from 306,000 in May 2023 to 361,000 last month.

Employment in the construction industry increased by 5,500 jobs from April to May. Employment in a broad category of education and health services increased by 2,700 positions, while 2,300 were added in another broad category of commerce, transportation and public services.

But in other areas of the economy employment declined month after month. For example, employment in a professional and business services category decreased by 3,100 jobs, while government jobs decreased by 1,300 and the manufacturing sector decreased by 600.

The national unemployment rate was 4 percent in May, the first time the figure has been this high since January 2022.