Florida added 13,700 private sector jobs in July, the weakest monthly performance so far this year, according to a report released Wednesday.
The estimate from payroll-processing firm ADP indicated Florida is still among the strongest job generators in the country. But it has slumped to third behind Gov. Rick Scott's arch-competitor, Texas. California remains No. 1, adding a robust 27,600 private sector jobs.
For Florida, the month marked a big dropoff from June, when it boasted a relatively healthy 21,400 new private jobs.
For much of the recent economic recovery, the Southern region — led by Texas and Florida — has been the strongest.
But that changed in July, said Ahu Yildirmaz, senior director of the ADP Research Institute. "The Western region saw an accelerated growth rate compared to the previous month," he said. "As a result, the West has replaced the South as the strongest contributor of growth."
As the third-largest state, Florida's job growth was less impressive in terms of percentage increase, up just 0.2 percent. Among the states notching the strongest increases in monthly job growth rates last month were Arizona, Oregon, Idaho, California, Washington and Texas.
ADP's figures are based on company payroll data and do not include government jobs. But they are viewed as a predictor for the Labor Department's monthly reports, which track both job creation and unemployment rates. The Labor Department's July report for Florida is due to be released Aug. 21.