Momentous Start to the Year
Florida employers added 32,200 jobs in January, marking the best monthly job gain for Florida since April 2011. Private sector payrolls rose even faster, with employers adding 36,000 jobs in January. Florida’s jobless rate edged down 0.1 percentage points over the month to 5.0 percent in January, which is down 0.7 percentage points from its year-ago level but still slightly above the national rate. Florida’s civilian labor force grew more than twice as fast as the nation’s over the past year, reflecting the state’s stronger job growth, which has pulled thousands of job seekers in from other states. Had Florida’s labor force grown at the same pace as the nation, at 0.8 percent, then the Sunshine State’s unemployment rate would have
tumbled 1.5 percentage points over the past year to 4.2 percent.
Job growth has clearly kicked into high gear. The state’s 32,200 net new jobs was the largest gain in the nation during January. Hiring rose in most key industries, with the strongest gains coming from construction, where payrolls rose 1.8 percent in January, and the largest numerical gain coming in the leisure & hospitality sector, which added 12,600 jobs on the month.
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