Florida still among 7 states with double-digit jobless rates, but shows signs of improvement
Wake up and good morning. The very good news, of course, is that Florida's unemployment rate continues to drop -- to 10,8 percent in April, down from 11.1 percent in March and 11.3 percent in April 2010 -- as reported here by St. Petersburg Times writer Jeff Harrington this past Friday. Now let's broaden that story and add some context of how Florida's faring in the jobs world when compared with the rest of the country. (AP photo.)
A few things to consider from the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report:
* Seven of the nation's 50 states continue to have double-digit jobless rates. In order, they are Nevada (12.5 percent), California (11.9 percent), Rhode Island (10.9 percent), Florida (10.8 percent), Mississippi (10.4 percent), Michigan (10.2 percent) and Kentucky (10 percent).
* Florida is not among those states with the fastest dropping unemployment rates in the past year. Those are Michigan (down. 2.9 percentage points), Nevada (-2.4), Maryland (-2.3) and Illinois (-2.1). Read more here.
* Florida is among those states with the biggest decline in its jobless rate in April 2011 from March 2011: In order, they are Nevada (down 0.7 percentage point), Oklahoma and New Mexico (both -0.5), Colorado (-0.4) and Florida (-0.3) tied with six other states.
* Florida ranks 5th in over-the-month (April versus March) increases in employment. In order, they are New York (+45,700), Texas (+32,900), Pennsylvania (+23,700), Massachusetts (+19,500), and Florida (+14,900).
* The official number of Florida's unemployed finally dropped under 1 million: It's 995,000 unemployed in April, down from 1,030,200 in March and 1,040,300 in April 2010.
* Within Florida, nine metro areas of the 22 in the state have over-the-year job gains in April 2011. The areas with the largest gains are Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (+15,200 jobs, +1.5 percent), Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall (+10,000 jobs, +1.0 percent), and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (+7,800 jobs, +0.7 percent).
* Of the Florida metro areas with job declines, the largest losses are in Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville (-4,600 jobs, -2.3 percent); Cape Coral-Ft. Myers (-2,200 jobs, -1.1 percent); and Lakeland-Winter Haven (-1,900 jobs, -1.0 percent).
All in all, we're on the right path. Just miles to go before we sleep.
-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, St. Petersburg Times