Local jobless rate holds steady in July

Published: Friday, August 16, 2013 at 4:05 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, August 16, 2013 at 4:05 p.m.

The Gainesville area and Florida unemployment rates held steady from June to July while the U.S. rate dropped from 7.6 percent to 7.4 percent, according to data released Friday by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

The jobless rate in the Gainesville Metropolitan Statistical Area — consisting of Alachua and Gilchrist counties — remained at 6.0 percent for the second straight month and was down from 7.6 percent a year ago. The rate was 5.3 percent in May before rising due to seasonal declines in local and state government jobs.

The Florida rate remained at 7.1 percent for the third month in a row and was down from 8.7 percent a year ago, while the U.S. rate of 7.4 percent was down from 7.6 percent in June and 8.2 percent in July 2012.

July’s rate of 6.0 percent in the Gainesville area reflected 134,310 employed and 8,601 unemployed. Both numbers were up from June, when 133,502 were employed and 8,493 unemployed, based on household surveys.

Employer surveys showed 3,400 more jobs over the year at a growth rate of 2.7 percent. The biggest gains were in education and health services (1,100), leisure and hospitality (900), retail trade (800) and professional and business services (700). The only losses were in government jobs, with federal and local government jobs down 400 each and state government down 100 jobs.

Florida saw job growth of 27,600 jobs from June to July, and 143,700 jobs over the year — a growth rate of 1.9 percent compared with a national growth rate of 1.7 percent.

Industry sectors with the most job growth in Florida were in food and beverage stores, food services and drinking places, services to buildings and dwellings, ambulatory health care services, specialty trade contractors, real estate, and membership associations and organizations. Sectors with losses included federal government, and computer and electronic product manufacturing.

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