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Unemployment Hits Seven Percent

November 21st, 2008 by Mike Vasilinda

New unemployment numbers show 7 percent of the states workforce is out of a job. The numbers are up by four tenths of a percent over October and are up 2 point 7 percent over October a year ago. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, Construction jobs continue top lead job losses.

Hear it Here: Unemployment Hits Seven Percent

Floridas unemployment offices are doing a booming business. 655,000 people are now out of work in Florida. Construction accounts for 4 of every 10 jobs lost. 12,000 people lost jobs in the financial industry. Statewide 156 thousand fewer people are working than October a year ago.

At seven percent, Floridas unemployment rate is a full half a percent higher than the national average. Economist Rebecca Rust doesnt expect big improvements any time soon. We expect some improvements in the job market in the second half of 2009″. Says Rust. In 2010 and 2011, we should get back to normal growth levels. She added.

There are bright spots. Education and health care are showing modest job gains. The state website, EmployFlorida dot com lists 200 thousand job openings across the state. We found Arthur Johnson looking for work as a painter. Ive been painting for 15 years Johnson told us. I applied for one yesterday and the interview went through. But they had another guy there who had more experience, so they said if he dont come through, they would contact me.

One embarrassed job seeker didnt want her name or picture used, but told us finding a job was elusive. Its put me in a bad position. A homeless position. A position where I cant take care of myself nor my child. She says.

Miami and Tampa showed the biggest job losses, while 6 panhandle counties posted unemployment rates at or below 5 percent. The lowest unemployment rate belongs to Walton County in the Panhandle, where the rate is 4.5 percent. The highest rate is in Hendry County where 13 percent of the population is out of work. Slowness in seasonal agricultural work is being blamed for the high rate.

october-unemployment

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