MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The August unemployment rate in Florida was unchanged from July at 8.8 percent. But, the reason behind the rate holding steady and even dropping in Miami-Dade and Broward County was not from job creation or job market improvement.
Instead, it was from people dropping out of the work force and jobs simply vanishing, despite the state’s claims that roughly 23,000 jobs were created in August.
Looking at the local numbers, Broward County’s unemployment rate dropped 0.3 percent to 7.8 percent in August. Currently, 77,708 workers are unemployed in Broward County. August’s unemployment rate of 7.8 percent is nearly 2 percent lower than in August 2011.
But, when you crunch the numbers down further, things don’t look nearly as rosy. The overall labor force in Broward County shrank by 7,418 people in August and the total number of jobs shrank by 3,535.
Miami-Dade County performed even better in the August unemployment report. In July, Miami-Dade County’s unemployment rate stood at 10 percent, but by August the rate had dropped to 9.4 percent. According to the state, 121,866 workers were on unemployment insurance in the state.
Again though, crunching the numbers finds that the labor force in Miami-Dade County shrank by 11,365 workers and that the total number of jobs dropped by 2,897.
Monroe County saw unemployment fall from 5.3 percent in July to 5.0 percent in August. Monroe County has a little more than 2400 people currently on unemployment insurance.
The numbers may be improving statewide and even in South Florida, but as the numbers show it’s not from more jobs created. Instead, it’s a combination of how the rate is calculated and the numbers of underemployed or those who have dropped out of the work force.
Additionally, as the state made unemployment insurance more difficult to attain in the last year or two; it’s contributing to workers out of a job being underreported.
The state also doesn’t have data on whether the new jobs that are being created are full-time jobs paying good salaries or are part-time or underpaying jobs in the economy.