Led by Tampa Bay and Orlando, Central Florida's major metro areas dominated the ranks of job growth in the past year by larger cities in the United States, according to data released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Among cities with at least 1 million population, Tampa Bay's over-the-year employment in June rose 3.6 percent, while smaller Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metro area registered a 4 percent gain — the biggest percentage bump among the country's 50 largest metros, BLS said.
Jacksonville also weighed in with a 3.6 percent annual employment gain, putting the three Florida metro areas in the top five nationwide (along with Las Vegas and Nashville) for percentage increases in jobs.
Among 22 larger and mid-sized metro areas in Florida, the BLS report found the largest over-the-year percentage gain in employment occurred in Sebring, up 5.7 percent. None of the 22 metros reported a decline, but the smallest gain – 0.3 percent – over the past year was in Homosassa Springs.
Nationwide, the BLS report found unemployment rates were lower in June than a year earlier in 336 of the biggest 388 U.S. metropolitan areas, higher in 45 areas, and unchanged in seven areas. Just 26 areas had jobless rates of less than 3 percent and two areas had rates of at least 10 percent. Nonfarm payroll employment increased over the year in 342 metropolitan areas, decreased in 39 areas, and was unchanged in seven areas.
The national unemployment rate in June was 4.4 percent while Florida's was 4.1 percent. Tampa Bay's jobless rate in June stood at 4.1 percent, up from 3.8 percent in May but down from 4.8 percent a year ago.