The last five months have seen steady declines in Florida’s unemployment rate, from 12% in December to 10.6% in May. The improvement leveled off in June, when the unemployment rate was unchanged. Since January 2010 the state has gained 85,500 jobs, according to seasonally adjusted figures, the longest and largest continuous gain since the recession began more than three years ago. However the state has a long way to go to make up the over 700,000 jobs lost since the start of the recession.
The good signs of growth are largely concentrated in a few industries, with three industries responsible for 60% of the gains. The top job creator, Accommodation and Food Services added nearly 20,000 jobs, or 23% of the total. Health care continued to add jobs as it has through most of the recession, and Administrative and Waste Services added over 16,000 jobs. Some smaller sectors such as Real Estate and Arts have seen significant improvements as well, as has Manufacturing, while others such as Wholesale Trade, Education and Information lost jobs.
While the addition of jobs is sorely needed in the state, the majority of the jobs created are in industries that pay below the average wage in the state. The industry that added the most jobs, Accommodation and Food Services, also has the lowest average annual wage at $18,842 per year. Two-thirds of the jobs added in the last five months were in below-average paying industries. The top job creators in above-average paying industries were Health Care and Manufacturing, which together accounted for 23% of jobs added since January.
Click at right to see full update with charts.