Florida has seen 14 straight months of job growth, gaining 69,300 private sector jobs in June, the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity said Friday.
June’s increase was more than double the May gain of 34,600 jobs and the largest rise of the year. Since the height of the pandemic in April 2020, Florida has gained back 907,900 jobs.
Florida’s unemployment rate rose 0.1% to 5.0% in June, reflecting the increase in the labor force as active job seekers begin looking to rejoin the workforce.
For 11 months in a row, Florida’s jobless rate has remained below the national rate, which is currently at 5.9%. Over the past year, the state’s unemployment rate has fallen by 6.6%.
“Many job seekers are returning to the workforce, and businesses across the state continue to provide Floridians with opportunities for employment, which bolsters our state’s economy,” said Dane Eagle of the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity.
On the year, Florida’s private sector employment increased 5.2%, or 378,500.
The private sector industries gaining the most jobs over the month were leisure and hospitality with 41,500 new jobs; trade, transportation and utilities with 8,000 new jobs; education and health services with 5,700 new jobs; and financial activities with 3,400 new jobs.
Broken down regionally, the Miami area’s unemployment rate fell to 7.1% last month, down from the 10.1% reported in June 2020, the highest rate seen in the city during the pandemic. Year-over-year, Miami’s private-sector employment rose 5.2%, or by 49,900 jobs. The industry experiencing the biggest job increases in the area was leisure and hospitality, which gained 19,100 jobs on the year.
The unemployment rate in the Orlando area fell to 6.0% in June, down from the 18.5% reported in June 2020. For the year, Orlando area private-sector employment rose 9.0%, or by 89,900 jobs. The industry experiencing the biggest job gains was leisure and hospitality, which increased 48,600 over the year.
Elsewhere in the state last month, the unemployment rate was 5.7% in the Fort Lauderdale area, 5.3% in the Fort Myers area, 4.7% in Naples, 5.0% in Jacksonville, 5.2% in Pensacola, 5.2% in Tampa and 5.3% in West Palm Beach.
In all 389 metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S., unemployment rates were lower as of May, according to the latest data from the Labor Department.
“Given that peak COVID rates were achieved in many MSAs in April 2020 and May 2020, the data does not surprise us,” BofA Securities said Friday in a research report.
Among recoveries for the 20-largest MSAs by non-farm payrolls as of May, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater in Florida’s 81.7% payroll recovery was strongest while San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California’s at 44.1% was the weakest, BofA said.
The median nonfarm payroll recovery for all MSAs as of May was 73.8%.
Meanwhile, Florida residents were feeling a bit more optimistic in June. The state’s consumer sentiment index rose to 82.7 last month, up 1.5 points from 81.2 in May.