Fla. Unemployment Improves, Miami-Dade Struggling
Legislative Session Coverage
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Florida’s unemployment rate dropped for a second-straight month to 7.5 percent which was the lowest the rate has been since October 2008 when it was 7.4 percent.
The numbers were released Friday by Governor Rick Scott during a stop in Naples. Florida’s unemployment rate stood at 7.7 percent in February.
All total, there were 706,000 jobless Floridians currently receiving unemployment insurance benefits out of a labor force of 9,411,000.
However, the devil is often in the details of the numbers. For example, some of the unemployment rate numbers are reported as seasonally adjusted which are typically better, while county numbers are reported as non-seasonally adjusted.
According to the state numbers for counties, Broward County saw its unemployment rate dwindle to just 5.7 percent in March, down from 6.2 percent in February. The March 2013 rate was also 1.9 percent less than at the same time in 2012.
The state numbers showed that the labor force in Broward County grew by just 604 jobs from February to March. At the same time, the employment numbers jumped by 5,752 during March.
Miami-Dade County continued to suffer through an anemic growth in jobs in March. The unemployment rate dropped to 9.2 percent down from 9.5 percent in February. But, the unemployment rate in Miami-Dade was still higher in March 2013 than it was in March 2012.
The labor force in Miami-Dade County shrank by 19,374 workers in March and the number of people employed dropped by 13,534 from February to March, according to the state numbers.
Overall, Miami-Dade County has the fourth-highest unemployment rate in the state behind only Hendry, Flagler, and Putnam Counties.
Breaking it down to metro area, Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall has the second highest unemployment rate in the state.
Finally, Monroe County continued to pace the state with an unemployment rate of 3.8 percent, meaning just 1,893 workers in Monroe County are currently on unemployment insurance benefits. Monroe County also added jobs and grew its labor force in March.
The unemployment numbers are key to any hope Governor Scott has of winning a second term in Tallahassee. Scott promised to create 700,000 jobs in Florida over a seven-year period and as the U.S. economy has sputtered along, so has Florida, with both the national and state unemployment rates mirroring each other.