Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Business

Florida adds 30,600 jobs in March but unemployment rate stays flat

Florida kept creating jobs last month, but not enough in higher-paying categories and not enough to nudge down its unemployment rate.

The jobless rate stood unchanged at 5.7 percent in March, after both February and December's rates were revised upward from 5.6 percent.

That puts Florida above the national unemployment rate of 5.5 percent.

Chris McCarty of the University of Florida's Bureau of Economic Research sounded underwhelmed by Friday's report from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

"It's the same old story," McCarty said. Job creation "has been looking pretty good, but wages have not been keeping up."

Overall, the state added 30,600 jobs over the month. But many of those jobs remained clustered in lower-paying industries like tourism and retail.

Leisure and hospitality was the single biggest job creator both over the month (up 8,100 jobs) and year-over-year (up 54,800 jobs). Coming in second was trade, transportation and utilities (up 54,700 jobs the past 12 months), a broad category that includes retail workers.

In metro areas, job figures are not adjusted for seasonal changes. That's a big reason why Tampa Bay was down 1,600 jobs over the month. But because the size of its labor pool shrank even more, the bay area's unemployment rate improved from 5.5 percent to 5.3 percent.

Nearly a third of the 34,500 jobs added in Tampa Bay over the past year are in leisure and hospitality.

McCarty said he's concerned that both retail and tourism are reliant on consumers confident in spending money.

"Those are the kinds of jobs that frankly are vulnerable whenever there's another big recession," he said. "We're just sort of setting ourselves up again, I think."

During a stop in Miramar, Gov. Rick Scott focused on private sector job growth, including more than 29,000 private jobs added in March alone.

"During the four years before I became governor, Florida lost over 820,000 private sector jobs. We have now gained back all of the jobs that were lost, and we will remain focused on doing everything we can to bring even more jobs and opportunities to the families in Florida," Scott said during his visit to Kellstrom Defense Aerospace, an aviation products manufacturer that is expanding its South Florida operations to create 20 new jobs.

All industries except for information have added jobs over the year.

Comments
Study: Tampa International Airport ranks fourth best for satisfying travelers

Study: Tampa International Airport ranks fourth best for satisfying travelers

Times Staff WriterTampa International Airport was named the fourth-best large airport in the U.S. at keeping travelers satisfied, according to a study by J.D. Power released Wednesday.Meanwhile, the study ranked Orlando International as the country’s...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Valet parking? A concierge? Midtown Tampa outlines plans for an amenity-rich office building

Valet parking? A concierge? Midtown Tampa outlines plans for an amenity-rich office building

TAMPA — A sudden boomlet in premium office space is getting boomier as developers detail their plans for the first of three office buildings planned at Midtown Tampa, a $500 million mixed-use development near Interstate 275 and N Dale Mabry Highway.M...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Home refinancings up dramatically in the Tampa Bay area

Home refinancings up dramatically in the Tampa Bay area

Counter to the national trend, refinancings in the Tampa Bay area increased in the second quarter of this year. According to ATTOM Data Solutions, lenders originated 41 percent more refinancing loans in April, May and June than they did in the same p...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Too many homeowners forced to tap home equity to pay for day-to-day expenses

Too many homeowners forced to tap home equity to pay for day-to-day expenses

Tapping home equity to pay for day-to-day expenses like groceries and utilities is a recipe for financial peril. It can work for a while, especially if home prices are rising. Eventually the spigot runs dry, bills pile up and your home can be lost to...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Daniel Ruth: City owes Gonzmart and Princess Ulele more than a notice of code violation

Daniel Ruth: City owes Gonzmart and Princess Ulele more than a notice of code violation

This has to be height of bureaucratic pettiness, especially for a city whose track record in promoting quality public art falls somewhere between stick figures and finger puppets.Richard Gonzmart is a community treasure. As the force behind a number ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
‘Something fishy’ about sale of a golf-course villa in Seminole

‘Something fishy’ about sale of a golf-course villa in Seminole

SEMINOLE — There were so many unusual aspects to the sale of a certain Seminole villa that it’s hard to know where to begin. Is it with the fact the villa sold for $100,000 despite a cash offer of $128,700? Is it that the buyer was a Realtor in the s...
Updated: 5 hours ago
New restaurants: Olivia from Chris Ponte, Crabby Bill’s Off the Hook

New restaurants: Olivia from Chris Ponte, Crabby Bill’s Off the Hook

COMING SOON: OLIVIAChris Ponte, right, has been a steady and notable culinary leader in our area for more than a decade with his flagship restaurant Cafe Ponte in Clearwater. A couple of years ago he mixed things up a bit by debuting On Swann in Hyde...
Updated: 5 hours ago
AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson steps down after 20 years in driver’s seat

AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson steps down after 20 years in driver’s seat

Associated PressFORT LAUDERDALE — Mike Jackson is stepping down after almost two decades leading AutoNation, the nation’s largest dealership chain. Jackson, 69, steered AutoNation through the economic crisis and shares have increased fourfold since h...
Updated: 7 hours ago
‘Imminent’ bankruptcy filing for law firm of suspended St . Pete lawyer Mark Stopa

‘Imminent’ bankruptcy filing for law firm of suspended St . Pete lawyer Mark Stopa

The law firm of suspended St. Petersburg attorney Mark Stopa is in such chaos that much of its staff has quit — some after suffering stress-related breakdowns — and a liquidation bankruptcy filing is imminent.In an emergency motion filed this week in...
Published: 09/19/18
Apartments, retail centers planned for north side of SR 54 in Land O' Lakes

Apartments, retail centers planned for north side of SR 54 in Land O' Lakes

LAND O’ LAKES — A forest of pine and oak trees and an aging mobile home neighborhood could be replaced by luxury apartments and a pair of retail centers along State Road 54 west of Cypress Creek.In separate proposals, land owners and de...
Published: 09/19/18