Unemployment continues on a downward trend for the state of Florida and the United States, according to numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics Program and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and Bureau of Labor Market Statistics.
TALLAHASSEE – The unemployment rate for Pinellas County dropped to 6.5 percent in April, according to the May 17 report from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
The not seasonally adjusted rate was down from 6.7 percent reported in March and 8.3 percent for April 2012.
Meanwhile, the county’s labor pool increased to 447,049 in April, compared to 445,508 last month and 437,176 for April 2012. Less than 30,000 were reported as unemployed – 29,270, slightly less than the 29,921 reported in March and 7,134 fewer than the 36,404 reported as unemployed for April last year.
In addition, job growth remains on an upswing for the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area, which continues to lead the state in over the year job creation with more than 35,400 new private sector jobs.
According to a press release from Gov. Rick Scott, the local MSA also had a 1.9 percent decline in the unemployment rate compared to last year, down to 6.7 percent from 8.6 percent in April 2012. The governor said since December 2010, the MSA’s unemployment has dropped 4.7 percentage points, from 11.4 percent to 6.7 percent.
“The tremendous job growth in the Tampa metro area again demonstrates that our job-creating policies are working,” Scott said. “In addition to more than 35,000 new jobs, Forbes recently ranked Tampa as the second best city for young entrepreneurs, and United Airlines inflight magazine will feature Tampa Bay as a thriving region for business.”
The local MSA includes Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties. Hernando ranks No. 8 among the state’s 67 counties at 8.1 percent unemployment, which is down from 8.5 percent reported in March. Pasco tied with Brevard County for the No. 18 spot with an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent, down from 7.6 percent reported last month.
Hillsborough County tied with Hardee, Escambia and Orange counties for a rank of No. 35 with an unemployment rate of 6.4 percent, down from 6.7 percent in March. Pinellas tied with Gulf County for No. 33, with 6.5 percent unemployment.
The county ranked No. 1 for the highest unemployment was Hendry County with 9.9 percent unemployment. Monroe County has the lowest rate at 3.7 percent.
Education and health services lead the way in job growth with more than 9,600 new jobs for the local MSA, followed by professional and business services with more than 8,800 jobs. More than 7,700 jobs were added in the trade, transportation and utilities industry, followed by an upswing of 4,000 new construction jobs.
Job growth is up statewide, according to Scott.
“Florida has experienced positive annual job growth now for 33 consecutive months,” he said. “This adds up to 330,000 new private jobs created in Florida since December 2010.
The state’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.8 percent in April compared to 7 percent in March. United States unemployment fell to 7.1 percent, down from 7.6 percent last month.
The state’s unemployment is the lowest since September 2008.