Make us your home page

Florida adds 23,000 jobs in September while unemployment rate is unchanged

Gov. Rick Scott noted the addition of 17,900 private-sector jobs during a ribbon-cutting at Uniform Advantage in Fort Lauderdale.

Gov. Rick Scott noted the addition of 17,900 private-sector jobs during a ribbon-cutting at Uniform Advantage in Fort Lauderdale.

Florida can't move the needle to lower its unemployment rate, which remained stuck at 4.7 percent in September for the fifth straight month.

But that's not entirely a bad thing.

In fact, the jobs report released Friday by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity shows the state continues to make headway in its agonizingly long jobs recovery:

• Florida added a healthy 23,000 jobs over the month, third-best in the country behind Texas and California and down slightly from 24,500 in August.

• The unemployment rate is flat, in part, because Florida is growing the size of its labor force — both from out-of-staters moving here and the return of some sidelined job seekers who had not been counted in unemployment statistics during the period they had temporarily given up looking for work. The labor force includes both those who have a job and those actively looking for work.

"As wages are starting to get bid up with more attractive jobs, maybe some recent retirees or discouraged workers are coming back in," said Scott Brown, chief economist with Raymond James Financial in St. Petersburg.

Here's one statistic that indicates more discouraged workers are coming back into the fold: The state's labor pool grew by 35,000 over the month, while its overall 16-and-up population (not including those in school or prison) grew by 28,000.

There's still plenty of slack, though, in absorbing new Floridians. Over the past year, the 16-and-up population grew by 309,000 while the labor force only grew by 87,000.

That's one reason why economists say it's premature to talk about Florida reaching full employment.

Gov. Rick Scott focused on the addition of 17,900 private-sector jobs over the month — or nearly 200,000 since December 2010 — during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday morning for Uniform Advantage's new headquarters in Fort Lauderdale.

Year over year, Tampa Bay has gained 30,800 jobs, slipping to third-best among Florida metros behind Orlando and the Fort Lauderdale region. The bay area's unemployment rate rose from 4.6 percent to 4.7 percent. Among area counties, Pinellas turned in the strongest performance with a 4.4 unemployment rate, followed by Hillsborough at 4.6 percent, Pasco at 5.3 percent, Hernando at 6.2 percent and Citrus at 6.7 percent.

Unlike the state numbers, local estimates are not seasonally adjusted, so they tend to fluctuate more month to month.

Contact Jeff Harrington at jharrington Follow @JeffMHarrington.

Florida adds 23,000 jobs in September while unemployment rate is unchanged 10/21/16 [Last modified: Friday, October 21, 2016 7:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park


    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  2. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  3. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood


    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  4. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa


    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  5. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county


    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.