Hillsborough County’s unemployment rate was down a tick in August at 5.1 percent, below the state rate of 5.3 percent, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. “We want Florida to be the first in the nation for jobs and with more than 940,000 private-sector jobs added since December 2010, we are well on our way to reaching that goal”.
The professional and business services sector has added 29,000 jobs since June 2009, Kaza said.
The Labor Department said Friday that rates rose in the remaining 10 states. The sector added an estimated 3,000 positions for the month, the majority of which is a benefit of the harvest season. At the same time, the total labor force in the county increased slightly, from 75,200 to 76,000.
The unemployment change from a year ago nationally has declined by -1.0 percentage points.
In Orange County, where seasonally adjusted numbers were not available, the unemployment rate was 4.5 percent, down from 4.7 percent in July. Hughson had an August rate of 12.3 percent, a decrease from the 13.5 percent recorded in July.
The bulk of job growth in Bay, Franklin and Gulf counties, however, was in the retail trade. Hernando continued to have the highest unemployment rate in the region at 6.8 percent, but continued to drop. That was followed by the traditionally lower-paying leisure and hospitality industry (up 55,600 jobs).
Another bit of good news was that nonfarm payroll jobs also increased, said Greg Kaza, executive director of the Little Rock-based Arkansas Policy Foundation. Financial services were a bright spot, gaining 500 jobs. However, construction jobs in Napa County dipped 7.9 percent, said the EDD.
Arkansas’ rate in August was the lowest since July 2008, when it fell to 5.3 percent.
The state unemployment report comes a day after the Federal Reserve decided against raising short-term interest rates, citing threats to the USA economy from weak growth in China and the persistence of very low inflation.