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Unemployment Rate Drops, Slightly

May 22nd, 2009 by flanews

Theres a small sign tonight, that Floridas economy maybe turning around. For the first time in nearly three years the states unemployment rate has fallen. Statewide unemployment is at 9.6 percent down two-tenths of a percentage points from March. As Whitney Ray tells us, the drop is providing hope for the 885,000 Floridians searching for jobs.

Theyre construction workers, theme park employees, and cashiers and theyre all looking for work. In March, Floridas unemployment rate was at a 30 years high, but its turning around slightly.

At least it hasnt worsened as it had for almost three years the unemployment rates have been increasing every month, said AWI Chief Economist Rebecca Rust.

While down only two-tenths of a percentage point, the change is providing hope for jobseekers.

Thats great news because I really need a job, said Ashley Jones who has been looking for a job for more than a year.

To put the good news in perspective, Floridas unemployment rate is four percentage points higher than it was last year and its still above the national average.

The monthly drop represents a 15,000 person change in the unemployment statistics. State Economists arent sure if the people found jobs or just stopped looking.

Those who are unemployed are those seeking a job and so if the number of unemployed has declined it could mean theyve found employment or it could mean theyve left the labor force, said Rust.

Economists call the change insignificant. They say in order to establish a trend the unemployment rate would have to continue to decrease over the next three months. The construction industry leads the pack in number of jobs lost, while jobs in private education and health care are growing faster than any other sectors in the state.

Posted in Charlie Crist, Economy, State News, Unemployment | No Comments »

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