Florida unemployment rate lowest of 10 largest U.S. states

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Florida Construction News staff writer

Florida has reported the lowest unemployment rate among the top 10 largest states in the nation at 2.6 percent.

In April Florida’s unemployment rate was 2.6 percent for the fourth consecutive month, which is 0.8 percentage points lower than the national rate of 3.4 percent. Florida’s statewide unemployment rate has remained lower than the national rate for 30 consecutive months since November 2020.

The labor force was 10.96 million last month, an increase of 5.8 percent since February 2020. Between April 2022 and April 2023, Florida’s total private sector employment grew by 336,200 jobs (4.1 percent), which is faster than the national private sector job growth rate of 2.7 percent during the same time period.

The industries gaining jobs over the year included education and health services (+90,600 jobs, +6.6 percent); leisure and hospitality (+89,200 jobs, +7.3 percent); trade, transportation, and utilities (+54,300 jobs, +2.8 percent); professional and business services (+50,200 jobs, +3.2 percent); total government (+27,200 jobs, +2.5 percent); financial activities (+19,700 jobs, +3.0 percent); manufacturing (+13,300 jobs, +3.3 percent); other services (+11,100 jobs, +3.3 percent); and construction (+8,600 jobs, +1.4 percent).

With the exception of October 2022, Florida employers have added jobs in 35 months since May 2020. Florida’s over-the-year private sector job growth rate has exceeded the nation’s growth rate for 25 consecutive months since April 2021.

“Florida’s low unemployment rate of 2.6 percent – the lowest among the top 10 largest states in the nation – is a testament to Governor DeSantis’ bold leadership,” said Meredith Ivey, acting secretary of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). “Governor DeSantis’ Freedom First policies are helping Florida businesses continue to create jobs and Floridians feel confident in the meaningful job opportunities available to them, ensuring the economic prosperity of the great state of Florida and its residents.”

Florida’s labor force grew over-the-year by 2.3 percent (+248,000), faster than the national labor force growth rate of 1.7 percent. In April 2023, Florida’s labor force grew by 0.3 percent (+38,000), while the national labor force declined by less than 0.1 percent over the month. In April 2023, total private employment increased by 18,200 (+0.2 percent), growth on par with the national rate of change.

In April 2023, the professional and business services sector gained the most jobs among all major industries, adding 10,900 jobs (+0.7 percent) from the previous month, followed by education and health services with 7,100 jobs (+0.5 percent) and financial activities with the addition of 2,700 jobs (+0.4 percent).

To view the April 2023 jobs reports by region, please see below:

To view the April 2023 employment data, visit: www.floridajobs.org/labor-market-information/labor-market-information-press-releases/monthly-press-releases.

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