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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Unemployment in Florida at lowest rate in 21 months



But it's still 10.6 percent.

Florida's latest unemployment rate is at its lowest point since August 2009, when it was also 10. 6 percent, state economists announced Friday.

The May rate is .2 percentage point down from April's 10.8 percent rate, and .7 percentage point lower than the level in May 2010.

Florida has added 28,000 non-agricultural jobs since April, bringing May's total to 7,238,300, according to this release from the Agency for Workforce Innovation.

Miami-Dade and Hernando are among counties with the highest local unemployment rates, at 13.7 percent and 12.9 percent, respectively. Double digit unemployment plagues 32 counties.

Metro areas in Tampa Bay and Miami posted the highest over-the-year job gains, trailing only Orlando. Since May 2010, jobs in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater are up by 4,700, or .4 percentage point.

May marks the eighth consecutive month with job growth since Florida began shedding jobs in July 2007, according to the state announcement.

The hospitality and leisure industry gained the most jobs among other industries since May 2010 at 45,100 jobs. Government and construction jobs took the biggest hits. Economists attributed part of the loss of 41,500 government jobs to temporary federal census workers in 2010.

[Last modified: Friday, June 17, 2011 11:19am]


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