How's Florida doing? Ten ways to compare its state of unemployment
Wake up and good morning. We know Florida's economy is still hurting, though there are a few signs of life out there. But one of the key ways to measure how we're doing is to see how other states are doing at the same time. So, using Bureau of Labor data just out, let's compare:
1. The largest over-the-month (July 2009 vs. June 2009) decrease in the level of employment occurred in California (-35,800), followed by North Carolina (-26,400) -- what's up Tarheels? -- Florida (-25,200) and Illinois (-13,000). (Mississippi's shown above, down 6,300, because it's a higher percentage decline than Illinois' decrease.)
2. The largest over-the-month increases in employment occurred in New York (+62,100), Michigan (+38,100) -- what happened to the auto crisis? -- Texas (+37,900), Tennessee (+15,600), and the District of Columbia (+13,200).
3. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia reported jobless rates of at least 10.0 percent in July.
Michigan continued to have the highest unemployment rate among the states, 15.0 percent. Florida and Tennessee are tied in 9th place with 10.7 percent unemployment rates. The U.S. average unemployment rate is 9.4 percent.
4. Over the year, 45 states experienced "statistically significant" changes in employment -- all decreases. The largest job losses occurred in California (-760,200), Florida (-401,100), Illinois (-286,500), Michigan (-280,800), Ohio (-254,700), Texas (-222,500), North Carolina (-221,900), and Georgia (-205,900).
5. One year ago, in July 2008, Florida's unemployment rate was 6.3 percent. It rose 4.4 percentage points in one year to 10.7 percent. Twelve states, led by Michigan, reported higher percentage point increases in unemployment than Florida over the past year.
6. Florida employed 7,354,800 in July 2009. It employed 7,380,000 in June 2009, and 7,755,900 in July 2008. That's a decline of 401,100 jobs over the past year.
7. In construction, Florida employed 427,700 in July 2009. It employed 429,900 in that field in June 2009 and 506,600 in July 2008. That's a decline of 78,900 construction jobs over the past year.
8. In manufacturing, Florida employed 329,300 in July 2009. It employed 331,000 in that field in June 2009 and 371,600 in July 2008. That's a decline of 42,300 manufacturing jobs over the past year.
9. In leisure and hospitality jobs, Florida employed 904,600 in July 2009. It employed 901,900 in that field in June 2009 and 945,000 in July 2008. That's a decline of 40,400 leisure and hospitality jobs over the past year.
10. And finally, let's end on a more upbeat note. In education and health services -- good news! -- Florida employed 1,048,900 in July 2009. It employed 1,046,500 in those fields in June 2009 and 1,043,500 in July 2008. That's an increase of 5,400 education and health services jobs over the past year.
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist