Modest signs that Florida's soaring jobless rate may be easing, but too early to see trend
Florida's starting to lose fewer jobs per month than it has over the past year. Last May, for example, Florida dropped 61,000 jobs or 10 times the losses (as shown above) from December 2009 to January 2010. Is this a sign of a bottoming out of rising unemployment in Florida? Experts think our jobless rate will peak late this year.
So our unemployment rate -- currently 11.9 percent statewide and 13.1 percent in Tampa Bay -- will continue to increase but probably at a more modest pace until the fall or so. We hope that's when the uptrend ends!
As the chart above shows, the good news is Florida is losing fewer jobs lately. The bad news is other high-population states like California, Illinois and New York are already adding jobs. We'll see if that trend continues. Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist