ICYMI: Tampa Bay Times: “Florida unemployment drops; job creation picks up”

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Tampa Bay Times: “Florida unemployment drops; job creation picks up”

“Florida unemployment drops; job creation picks up”
Tampa Bay Times
By Jeff Harrington
July 18, 2014
For Full Story Click HERE.

Florida’s growth industry is once again, well, growth.

Figures released Friday show the state added 37,400 jobs in June, the single strongest month in four years, helping to push the state’s unemployment rate down a notch to 6.2 percent.

One clear driver of that broad-based resurgence: Florida is once again a magnet for residents in other states and other countries. Florida’s 16-and-up population has increased by 210,000 over the year, including 17,000 new Floridians in June alone.

Along with the moving vans chugging into Florida comes demand for more professional and business services, more retail, more housing.

So it’s no surprise that construction is making a comeback, too.

In fact, construction, which was struck hard by the downturn, grew almost 12 percent over the year. That’s a rate three times faster than any other industry’s.

The addition of 41,700 construction jobs since last June lags only the increases for trade, transportation and utilities (up 52,500 jobs) and professional and business services (up 45,300).

Construction has even surpassed the booming tourism and hospitality sector as a job generator.

Construction peaked at 692,000 jobs in mid 2006 and then plummeted more than 50 percent to hit a low of 332,000 by mid 2011. As of June, the number had climbed back to 405,000, the most in five years.

Unlike early in the economic recovery — when only industries such as health care, tourism and retail were flashing “Help Wanted” signs — the bounce-back has become broad-based. Every industry, even long-suffering sectors such as information and manufacturing, is up by thousands of jobs year-over-year.

But Gov. Rick Scott, as in past months, discounted any gains or losses in the government sector.

Rather, he zeroed in on the monthly creation of 36,900 private-sector jobs. That’s the single highest month of private sector job growth since the governor took office in December 2010.

“Florida continues to have great success in our state’s economic recovery,” said Scott, who was at a Bonita Springs engineering and manufacturing firm to release the report. “Let’s keep working so that every person who wants a job can get one here in Florida.”



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