Advertisement
  1. Business

Florida unemployment dips again to 4 percent in August

The state's jobless rate dipped to 4 percent for August. Construction gained the most jobs across the state over the year. | [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
Published Sep. 15, 2017

Florida's unemployment numbers are inching down again to the lowest point in more than a decade.

The state's jobless rate dropped to 4 percent in August, down from 4.1 percent in July, according to state figures released Friday. The national unemployment rate was 4.4 percent for the month.

"The fact that it continues to go down is a sign of ongoing strength in hiring because the labor force year-over-year continues to grow at a rapid pace," Sean Snaith, economist at the University of Central Florida, said.

Tampa Bay's unemployment rate matched the state's at 4 percent. Hillsborough County dropped from 4.1 percent to 3.9 percent, and Pinellas dipped slightly from 3.8 percent to 3.7 percent. Hernando slid from 5.3 percent in July to 5.2 percent in August, while Pasco inched down from 4.5 percent to 4.4 percent over the month.

Florida's unemployment rate in July remains steady at 4.1 percent

Among major industries, construction again gained the highest number of jobs over the year across the state — 35,000 — which made Florida No. 2 for construction job growth over the year. The only state to outpace the Sunshine State was California with 47,400 jobs, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. Florida also had the second highest jump in construction jobs from July to August at 3,100. It was outpaced by Maryland, which added 3,200 jobs.

Tampa Bay had the second highest job growth over the year — 36,000 jobs.

Despite a drop in unemployment over the past few months, economists say any excitement should be tempered by the lack of growth in wages. Typically, when the unemployment rate goes down and people are entering the workforce, wages should theoretically be going up. But they have stagnated in recent years.

UCF's Snaith said that it finally appears that change may be on the horizon.

"I think we're getting pretty close to an acceleration in wage growth," he said. One anecdotal but telltale sign, he said, is the emergence of signing bonuses for new hires, even at lower-paid positions.

What remains to be seen is the damage that Hurricane Irma wreaked on the state. Most of Florida's metropolitan areas were slammed by the storm, affecting potentially thousands of jobs.

Going into the next few weeks, damage assessment will shed more light on the economic impact of the storm, but Snaith said the effects likely will not be longterm.

"It's still a solid jobs market," Snaith said. "I think it will continue to be after the bump in the road that Hurricane Irma created."

Contact Malena Carollo at mcarollo@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2249. Follow @malenacarollo on Twitter.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Ken Jones, CEO of Third Lake Capital, has sold WingHouse for $18 million to a Jacksonville restaurant company. [Times 2016]
    Tampa’s Third Like Capital now major shareholder in restaurant’s new owners.
  2. The Don CeSar Hotel is caught up in a lawsuit over liquid nitrogen being served and causing injuries at its restaurant. [Times (2011)]
    They say the other side has made inflammatory and misleading statements to the media.
  3. This Mobil Coast gas station at 16055 State Road 52 in Land O Lakes is one of 10 cited in a Florida Department of Environmental Protection lawsuit where inspectors said they found lapses in regularly required tests, maintenance, documentation or other oversight by Brandon-based Automated Petroleum and Energy or its related companies. On Wednesday, the company said the station had already been put back in compliance with state regulations. (Photo via Google street view) Google street view
    The Florida Department of Environmental Protection contends Automated Petroleum and Energy Company failed to do required maintenance or testing at 10 gas stations in the Tampa Bay area and beyond.
  4. FILE - In this July 31, 2019, file photo workers clean the outside facade of State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. On Wednesday, Oct. 16, the Federal Reserve releases its latest ‘Beige Book’ survey of economic conditions. ROSS D. FRANKLIN  |  AP
    “Persistent trade tensions and slower global growth” were weighing on the economy, the Federal Reserve reported.
  5. A South Florida developer plans a condo tower on the parking lot between the Northern Trust building, left, and the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront. SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN  |  Susan Taylor Martin
    South Florida company plans a 35-story tower next to a Hilton hotel.
  6. Tech Data's headquarters in Clearwater. The company is one of the largest in the Tampa Bay area. TD AGENCY  |  Courtesy of Tech Data
    The Largo company’s stock price soared Wednesday following the report, which the news service based on information from “people familiar with the matter.”
  7. Yesterday• Business
    Col. Jennifer Crossman smiles as Boomer, a 5-year-old dog, sits in the passenger seat of her car during the firefighter challenge at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. [Times (2016)] Tampa Bay Times
    Uber customers can now be connected with willing animal chauffeurs — for a fee.
  8. An image from the web site of Realtor Michael Schaffer's real estate company. [Realty Resources] WWW.TAMPABAYHOMEREALTOR.COM/TEAM  |  Screen grab
    Michael Schaffer still has active listings
  9. Duke Energy Co. workers are competing in a line worker competition in Kansas this week. | [Courtesy of Duke Energy Florida] Duke Energy Florida
    Four Duke Energy Florida competitors are from Tampa Bay, as well as two coaches.
  10. Alexandra Toigo, 32 and Sabrina Pourghassem, 23, pose for a photo at Hofbrauhaus St. Petersburg holding their signature beer mugs during Oktoberfest 2018. "LUIS SANTANA  |  TIMES"  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The beer hall’s property owners filed a lawsuit saying the restaurant missed its rent starting in August.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement