Sunday, August 19, 2018
Business

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

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 @tampabay.com. Follow @JeffMHarrington.

Comments
Dear Penny: How can I tell my boss to stop making fun of my old car?

Dear Penny: How can I tell my boss to stop making fun of my old car?

Dear Penny,I’m a recent college grad who’s been working an entry-level job for the past year. I only make about $33,000 a year, but I’m doing OK. I’m able to pay my bills without taking on more debt. One of the reasons I’m able to do so is that I dri...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Pinellas commission candidate faced stalking, abuse claims

Pinellas commission candidate faced stalking, abuse claims

ST. PETERSBURG — A political newcomer seeking a Pinellas County Commission seat has faced accusations of physical abuse and stalking from her former fiance, who twice sought court-ordered protection from her.Both allegations came after Democrat Amy K...
Published: 08/17/18
Tampa Bay’s seventh renovated Winn-Dixie opens in Hernando County

Tampa Bay’s seventh renovated Winn-Dixie opens in Hernando County

SPRING HILL — The latest Winn-Dixie remodel opened in Hernando County on Thursday.This marks the seventh remodeled Winn-Dixie parent company Southeastern Grocers has unveiled in Tampa Bay this year. The chain promised renovations following emerging f...
Published: 08/17/18
St. Petersburg ranks No. 39 in U.S. for affordable living, study says

St. Petersburg ranks No. 39 in U.S. for affordable living, study says

ST. PETERSBURG — St. Petersburg is beating the national averages on affordable homeownership, according to a SmartAsset study.The financial technology company ranked 115 of the biggest cities in the U.S., measured by mortgage payments, property taxes...
Published: 08/17/18

Florida unemployment falls to 3.7 percent

Florida’s unemployment rate hit an 11-year low in July. The jobless rate inched down a notch to 3.7 percent, according to state figures released Friday, continuing the state’s 10-month run of a sub-4 percent unemployment rate. "This is one of the big...
Published: 08/17/18
Welfont, KnowBe4, Teami and other Tampa Bay companies rank high in Inc. 5000 list

Welfont, KnowBe4, Teami and other Tampa Bay companies rank high in Inc. 5000 list

While a Wisconsin company that makes software to execute shipments and a trendy cellphone grip company out of Colorado may have taken the top spots in this year’s Inc. 5000 list — Florida still had an impressive showing. Every year, Inc. ranks the 5...
Published: 08/17/18
Wages remain stagnant in Florida despite super low unemployment. What’s going on?

Wages remain stagnant in Florida despite super low unemployment. What’s going on?

It remains our biggest economic enigma: Sluggish wage growth despite low unemployment. In a robust job market, pay rises as the supply of available workers shrinks. At least that’s the way it normally works. This time around, the ingredients appear ...
Published: 08/17/18
Children who lived with smokers are more likely to die of lung disease as adults, study says

Children who lived with smokers are more likely to die of lung disease as adults, study says

Childhood exposure to secondhand smoke is linked to lung disease decades later, according to a study published Thursday by the American Cancer Society.For 22 years, researchers have been following more than 70,000 adults who have never smoked. At the...
Published: 08/17/18
What would it take to overthrow king Publix? Safeway’s Florida exit begs the question.

What would it take to overthrow king Publix? Safeway’s Florida exit begs the question.

LARGO — Everything is on clearance inside Tampa Bay’s only Safeway grocery store. Patio furniture, 40 percent off. Beach chairs, too. Most grocery items are 30 percent off; the entire liquor store is 20 percent off.The discounts will probably get ste...
Published: 08/17/18
Trump asks SEC to look into ditching quarterly filings

Trump asks SEC to look into ditching quarterly filings

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump says he’s asking federal regulators to look into the effectiveness of the quarterly financial reports that publicly traded companies are required to file. In a tweet early Friday, Trump said that after speaking with ...
Published: 08/17/18