Florida may have sidestepped the nationwide drag on job creation in December, a report released Wednesday appears to show.
The state added 25,230 private sector jobs in December, continuing its fastest pace of job growth since the economic recovery began, according to the latest regional employment report by payroll processor ADP.
The growth, up from the company's estimate of 19,450 nongovernment jobs added statewide in November, placed Florida second to jobs king Texas among the 29 states tracked by ADP and Moody's Analytics.
As with previous months, the vast majority of Florida's newly created jobs were in the lower-paying service sector (21,480 jobs) instead of the goods-producing sector (3,750 jobs).
By select industry, the payroll company estimated there were 2,270 additional jobs here in natural resources/mining and construction; 1,480 additional manufacturing jobs; 8,040 more professional and business service jobs; and 5,190 more jobs in trade, transportation and utilities.
For all of 2013, Florida gained 170,000 private sector jobs, up 2.7 percent from a year ago, according to the report.
The national jobs report last week showed only 74,000 jobs created in December, far fewer than the 200,000 that economists had expected. The unemployment rate dropped from 7 percent to 6.7 percent over the month, but that was almost entirely because 347,000 people who had been looking for work gave up and were no longer counted among the jobless.
Unlike with the Labor Department's monthly snapshot, ADP does not include government jobs in its estimates.
ADP's analysis is based on worker payroll data, but its estimates don't always mesh with the government's. In November, for instance, the Labor Department estimated that Florida added a net 6,100 jobs, roughly a third of the private sector job growth estimated by ADP.
Florida's official jobs report for December is scheduled to come out Jan. 24.
Jeff Harrington can be reached at (727) 893-8242 or [email protected]