Area jobless rate ticks up to 5.7 percent while state rate stays put

Published: Friday, August 15, 2014 at 12:41 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, August 15, 2014 at 12:41 p.m.

Gainesville’s unemployment rate rose 0.3 points to 5.7 percent in July, although the number of people with jobs actually increased along with a growing labor pool, while Florida’s rate remained at 6.2 percent for the second month in a row.

The rate in the Gainesville Metropolitan Statistical Area — consisting of Alachua and Gilchrist counties — rose from 5.3 percent to 5.7 percent from June to July, and was down from 6.1 percent in July 2013, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity reported Friday.

The July rate for Gainesville reflected 8,051 unemployed out of a labor force of 140,979, compared with 7,396 unemployed out of 139,778 in June. The number of people with jobs locally also rose, from 132,382 to 132,928. Local numbers are not adjusted for seasonal fluctuations.

Compared with July 2013, the number of people with jobs in Gainesville rose by 2,007, while the number of unemployed dropped by 445, according to household surveys.

Employer surveys showed 1,200 more jobs over the year in Gainesville, a growth rate of 1.1 percent, compared with 2.7 percent growth in Florida and 1.9 percent growth nationwide.

Education and health services added 1,200 jobs in Gainesville, and leisure and hospitality added 700 to lead job growth, partially offset by 400 jobs lost in mining, logging and construction, and 300 jobs lost in total government jobs.

Florida’s seasonally adjusted rate of 6.2 percent was the same for June and July, and down from 7.3 percent in July 2013. The U.S. rate ticked up to 6.2 percent in July from 6.1 percent in June and was 7.3 percent in July 2013.

Florida’s rate reflected 597,000 jobless out of a labor force of more than 9.6 million. The number of jobs statewide dropped by 1,600 over the month, less than 0.1 percent, but was up by 208,500 over the year.

Statewide job gains were partly due to increases in food and beverage stores, specialty trade contractors, food services and drinking places, services to buildings and dwellings, ambulatory health care services, insurance carriers and related activities, membership associations and organizations, fabricated metal product manufacturing, telecommunications, and state government.

Gov. Rick Scott touted the creation of 2,100 more private-sector jobs over June in a news release. Total seasonally adjusted nonagricultural employment was down by 1,600 as a result of 3,700 total government jobs lost, mostly at local governments.

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