Pinellas County’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 3.6% in September, compared to 4.2% in August and 5.7% for the same month last year.

The labor force grew to 519,456, up from 514,765 the month before. Only 18,825 were reportedly unemployed compared to 21,496 in August and 27,592 in September 2020.

Florida’s unemployment rate was down to 4.3% compared to 4.9% in August and 7.3% in September last year. The United States’ rate was 4.6% down from 5.3% the month before and 7.7% in September 2020.

The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area had an unemployment rate of 3.9% in September, down from 4.5% in August and 6% in September last year.

The unemployment rates reported are not seasonally adjusted. The DEO’s report does not provide seasonally adjusted rates for counties or MSAs. DEO does provide seasonally adjusted numbers for states and the nation.

The state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 4.9%, down from 5% in August. The United States’ rate decreased from 5.3% in August to 4.8% in August.

Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique used to measure and remove the effects of recurring patterns to show how employment and unemployment, as well as the size of the labor force change from month to month due to seasonal events, such as weather, harvests, major holidays and school schedules.

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater MSA came in second for the most over-the-year job gains with 79,900 new jobs or 6%. It also had the most private-sector jobs.

Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford came in first adding the most new jobs, 81,600, Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall came in third with 61,400 and Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach came in fourth with 31,300 new jobs. Only one metro area had over-the-year job losses, The Villages lost 100 jobs, or 0.3%.

The industries gaining the most jobs over the year in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater MSA include professional and business services with 26,800 new jobs, and leisure and hospitality, with 24,900 jobs.

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater MSA tied with Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent MSA for the rank of 16 among the state’s 24 metro areas. Sebring MSA ranked No. 1 with an unemployment rate of 5.7%. Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin MSA ranked No. 24 with an unemployment rate of 3.3%.

Pinellas had the lowest unemployment rate in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater MSA, tying with Baker, Bay, Collier, Franklin and Gilchrist counties for the rank of 51. Of the other counties in the local MSA, Hillsborough tied with Bradford and Dixie counties for the rank of 40 with an unemployment rate of 3.9%.

Pasco tied with Columbia, Duval, Palm Beach and Washington counties for the rank of 32 with a rate of 4.1%. Hernando with the highest unemployment rate in the local MSA ranked No. 12 with an unemployment rate of 4.8%. Hendry County had the highest unemployment rate in the state at 6.7% and ranked No. 1. Monroe County had the lowest rate at 2.6% and ranked No. 67.

Suzette Porter is TBN’s Pinellas County editor. She can be reached at sporter@tbnweekly.com.