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Robert Trigaux

Perspective: So just how bad is Florida's stalled 10.7 percent jobless rate?



hiringsignofficedepotcalif2011ap.jpgWake up and good morning. So Florida's stalled out for the third month in a row with an unemployment rate of 10.7 percent. Obviously, we've lost some momentum in recovery. But how exactly bad are we doing? (AP photo)

Depends where you look. Here's a little perspective from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and our state Agency for Workforce Innovation on the Florida economy when compared with the rest of the states in this country.

* 26 states and the District of Columbia reported unemployment rate increases, 12 states recorded rate decreases, and 12 states -- including Florida -- had no rate change in August from July.

* 37 states registered unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier -- including Florida dropping 0.9 percentage point from 11.6 percent -- while 11 states and the District of Columbia had increases, and 2 states experienced no change.

* While New Mexico registered the largest jobless rate decrease from August 2010 (-1.9 percentage points), Florida was one of four other states to report smaller but statistically significant decreases over the year: Oklahoma (-1.4 percentage points), Indiana (-1.3 points), Oregon (-1.1 points), and Florida (-0.9 point).

* Florida fared relatively well in creating jobs in August. The largest over-the-month increase in employment occurred in Minnesota (+28,400), followed by North Carolina (+16,500), Arizona (+15,400), and Florida (+9,900). Here's more about what those 9,900 jobs include.

* Let's just look at the big population states. Here's how Florida looks in job creation over the past year (August 2011 versus August 2010) compared to California, Texas and New York -- the country's 3 larger states than Florida.

-- California +171,300

-- Texas +253,200

-- New York +83,400

And Florida? Lagging at +46,100.... but at least it is up.

-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, St. Petersburg Times

[Last modified: Monday, September 19, 2011 7:12am]


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