Gainesville jobless rate jumps back over 5 percent


Published: Friday, June 21, 2013 at 2:36 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 21, 2013 at 2:36 p.m.

Gainesville’s unemployment rate was back above 5 percent in May after dipping below that mark for the first time in nearly five years the month before, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity reported Friday.

The jobless rate was 5.3 percent, up from 4.8 percent in April, in the Gainesville Metropolitan Statistical Area, consisting of Alachua and Gilchrist counties. The rate was 6.8 percent in May 2012.

The higher rate reflected 606 more people without jobs, raising the number to 7,620, while the number of people with jobs dropped by 2,687 to 135,054, according to household surveys.

Fluctuations from month to month are often the result of seasonal changes such as the end of school years.

Florida’s rate dropped to the lowest level since September 2008 at 7.1 percent in May from 7.2 percent in April and 8.8 percent in May 2012, while the U.S. rate was up to 7.6 percent from 7.5 percent in April. The U.S. rate was 8.2 percent in May 2012.

Estimates from employer surveys showed the number of jobs was up by 2,800 to 130,600 over the year in Gainesville, a growth rate of 2.2 percent.

The biggest gains were in private education and health services at 1,200, followed by 900 in leisure and hospitality, 700 in professional and business services, 300 in retail trade and 300 in mining, logging and construction.

Government was the only sector to lose jobs over the year with 1,100 fewer jobs in federal, state and local government combined.

Florida’s seasonally adjusted nonagricultural employment dropped by 6,200 jobs from April to May but was up 122,500 from a year ago for a growth rate of 1.7 percent compared with a U.S. growth rate of 1.6 percent.

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