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Pinellas’ unemployment continues downward trend
Local MSA leads the way in over the year job growth
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Florida’s unemployment rate, shown in blue, continues at a steady downward trend, as opposed the national rate.
TALLAHASSEE – Pinellas County’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.2 percent in October, according to the report released Nov. 22 by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

October’s rate was down from 6.5 reported in September and 8.0 in October 2012. Pinellas County’s unemployment is lower than the state rate at 6.6 percent and national rate at 7 percent.

Pinellas also reported a decrease in its labor force in October, down to 448,902 from 453,116 in September and 445,237 last year. The report shows that 27,842 were unemployed, down from 29,360 last month and 35,435 in October of 2012.

Compared to other counties around the state, Pinellas was in a three-way tie with Gilchrist and Hillsborough for the No. 37 position in the ranking list of 67 counties. Hendry ranked No. 1 with 12 percent unemployment and Monroe ranked No. 67 with unemployment of only 3.8 percent.

Job growth continues on an upward trend throughout much of the state. October marked the 39th consecutive month of annual job growth. Florida’s annual job rate has equaled or exceeded the national rate since March 2012. Job growth in October was the fastest since June 2006.

Twenty of 22 metropolitan statistical areas contributed to the state’s job growth. The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater MSA had the highest over the year job creation than any metro area in the state, reporting a gain of 39,800 new jobs. The local MSA includes Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties.

Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford came in second with 29,100 new jobs and Ft. Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach was third with 18,900 new jobs.

The unemployment rate for the MSA for October was 6.4 percent, down from 6.7 percent in September and 8.2 percent in October 2012. Out of a labor force of 1,346,568, the number unemployed was 86,307 in October. The county with the highest unemployment in the local MSA was Hernando at 7.8 percent. Pasco was second highest with 7.2 percent.

The local MSA added more than 9,600 jobs in the education and health services industry; 9,400 jobs in professional and business services; 8,100 in trade, transportation and utilities; 6,400 in construction; and 1,100 in manufacturing.

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater MSA also led the way in online job demand. It was first in the state in demand for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) jobs.

The report for November’s unemployment is scheduled for release Dec. 20.
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