Florida’s jobless rate dipped in July, hitting an 11-year low of 3.7 percent, according to numbers posted Friday by the state Department of Economic Opportunity.
The latest estimate represents 383,000 Floridians considered out of work – 4,000 fewer than in June – from a workforce of 10.2 million. The mark, the lowest for Florida since April 2007, kept the state below the national figure of 3.9 percent for July, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Florida’s rate had been 3.8 percent in June, with Florida one of 11 states reporting a drop in July.
Over the past year, Florida ranked third among states in terms of overall job creation with 210,600 new jobs, trailing 377,100 added in Texas and 332,700 in California.
Gov. Rick Scott, who held a news conference at Solar Stik in St. Augustine to announce the numbers, issued a statement that highlighted Florida’s long-term job numbers and the creation of 26,300 seasonally adjusted private-sector jobs over the past month.
Across Florida, the region with the lowest jobless rate was the Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin metropolitan statistical area at 3 percent, with the metro areas of Panama City, Gainesville and Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford each at 3.6 percent. The Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin region had been at 3.1 percent in June. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford had been at 3.5 percent. At the other end of the unemployment rates, the Sebring area was at 5.8 percent in July, the highest in the state after going up by 0.4 percentage points. The next highest metropolitan statistical areas were Homosassa Springs at 5.7 percent and The Villages at 5.6 percent. The statewide unemployment rate is seasonally adjusted, while the rates for the metropolitan statistical areas are not.