Pinellas County unemployment, not seasonally adjusted, climbed to 8.6 percent in June up from 8.2 percent in May, but still well below last year’s figure of 10.7 percent.
The state of Florida’s not seasonally adjusted rate also went up from 8.5 percent in May to 9 percent in June, according to figure released July 20 from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The national rate also saw an upward swing going from 7.9 percent to 8.4 percent.
Despite the increase, mostly attributed to schools closing down for the summer, Gov. Rick Scott continues to insist that his job strategy is working. In a press release, he pointed to the 9,000 jobs added in June.
“As companies are choosing to grow and expand in our state, we are continuing to see Florida experience a positive economic recovery. Floridians have more and more opportunities to get back to work, and last month, 9,000 Floridians were able to get a job and provide for their families,” Scott said.
The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan statistical area continues to lead in the number of over-the-year job gains with the addition of 23,300 jobs, a 2.1 percent growth. The MSA with the second highest growth is Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall with 10,800 more jobs, a 1.1 percent increase.
The not seasonally adjusted unemployment for the local MSA increased from 8.6 percent in May to 9 percent in June. It is considerably lower than 11.2 percent reported in June 2011. The local MSA includes Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas Counties.
Hernando County tied with Putnam County for the No. 5 rank, reporting 11.1 percent unemployment in June. Pasco County tied with Polk for the No. 14 spot with 10 percent unemployment. Hillsborough tied with Gilchrist and Collier counties for No. 33 with 8.8 percent.
Pinellas tied with Orange County to rank No. 39 – the lowest rank of the counties in the local MSA.
Pinellas County’s labor force increased by 3,143 in June as compared to the previous month and 7,075 compared to June 2011. The number of employed workers climbed to 409,131 compared to 407,950 in May and 393,311 last year. The number of unemployed also increased to 38,328 compared to 36,366 in May. However, compared to June 2011, the number of unemployed decreased by 8,745.
The DEO reported that June was the 23rd consecutive month of job growth. The industry gaining the most jobs was professional and business services with 33,700 jobs, a 3.2 percent increase. The industry with the second highest growth was trade, transportation and utilities with an additional 24,000 jobs, a 1.6 percent increase.
Construction continues to lead industries with the most job losses down 24,600 over the year, or a negative 7.4 percent. Total government has the second highest job loss totals with 10,100, a negative 0.9 percent.
“I know we still have a lot more work to do, and we won’t stop until every Floridian who wants a job is able to get one,” Scott said.