Florida Employment Update: December 2015

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Florida Ends 2015 on a High Note

Florida employers continue to add jobs at a brisk pace. Overall nonfarm employment rose 0.3 percent in December, as 21,900 net new jobs were added across the state. Florida’s unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage point in December to 5.0 percent, ending the year 0.7 percentage points lower than its year-ago level and is now even with the national average.

The Sunshine State added a sizable 233,100 jobs for 2015 as a whole, marking a solid 2.9 percent increase. Private sector payrolls grew even more rapidly, climbing 3.5 percent. Gains were broad based across major industry categories (middle chart). The professional & business services sector was the clear standout, with hiring rising 4.3 percent and the industry adding 51,100 new jobs. A large proportion of these jobs were added in professional & technical services, which captures many professions in the high-tech sector. Notable gains have also occurred in retail trade and education & health services, largely thanks to Florida’s continued strong in-migration, which has fueled demand for consumer services. Tourism also continues to post steady gains, with expansions at theme parks helping fuel gains in both domestic and international visitors.

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