Make us your home page
Instagram

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.

Florida adds 30,600 jobs in March but unemployment rate stays flat 04/17/15 [Last modified: Friday, April 17, 2015 7:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Black entrepreneur says city stiffing him on project after he endorsed Rick Baker

    News

    ST. PETERSBURG — A prominent African-American resident says his endorsement of mayoral candidate Rick Baker has led city officials to freeze him out of a major construction project along the historic "Deuces" stretch of 22nd Street S.

  2. Sen. Nelson urges FEMA to examine high number of denied flood claims

    Banking

    Sen. Bill Nelson urged FEMA on Tuesday to ensure fairness, proper oversight and transparency in processing Hurricane Irma aid following a report by the Palm Beach Post that 90 percent of Irma claims under the National Flood Insurance Program had been denied.

    Sen. Bill Nelson is calling for FEMA to ensure the flood claims process post-Hurricane Irma is fair and ethical following reports that 90 percent of claims under the National Flood Insurance Program were denied. | [Times file photo]
  3. Amazon expands in Tampa with Pop-Up shop in International Plaza

    Retail

    TAMPA — A new retailer known largely for its online presence has popped up at International Plaza and Bay Street.

    Shoppers walk past the new Amazon kiosk Tuesday at the International Plaza in Tampa. The kiosk, which opened last month, offers shoppers an opportunity to touch and play with some of the products that Amazon offers.
[CHRIS URSO   |   Times]

  4. Study: Florida has fourth-most competitive tax code

    Banking

    Florida's tax code is the fourth most competitive in the country, according to a study released Tuesday by nonprofit group Tax Foundation.

    Florida has the fourth-most competitive tax code, a study by the Tax Foundation said. Pictured is  Riley Holmes, III, H&R Block tax specialist, helping a client with their tax return in April. | [SCOTT KEELER, Times]
  5. Trigaux: On new Forbes 400 list of U.S. billionaires, 35 now call Florida their home

    Personal Finance

    The latest Forbes 400 richest people in America was unveiled Tuesday, with 35 billionaires on that list calling Florida home. That's actually down from 40 Florida billionaires listed last year when a full 10 percent listed declared they were Floridians by residence.

    Edward DeBartolo, Jr., shopping center developer and  former San Francisco 49ers Owner, posed with his bronze bust last year during the NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony in Canton, Ohio. DeBartolo remains the wealthiest person in Tampa Bay according to the Forbes 400 list released Tuesday. 
[Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]