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Florida Unemployment Rate Drops; Miami Still Struggling

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – Florida's unemployment rate continued to decline in April to a seasonally adjusted 7.2 percent which was the lowest since September 2008. The April number was down from March's 7.5 percent rate and was 1.7 percent lower than last year's rate in April of 8.9 percent.

The drop in Florida's unemployment rate also put the state below the national unemployment level for the first time in several years.

The non-seasonally adjusted numbers the state released for the counties showed Broward County's April unemployment rate dropped to 5.6 percent, or roughly 56,843 workers no on unemployment insurance out of a labor force of 1,018,789.

Overall, Broward County's labor force expanded by just 557 people, but 2,553 jobs were filled in April. A total of 1,996 fewer people were on unemployment insurance in Broward County from March to April.

Miami-Dade County's unemployment rate dropped to a not-seasonally adjusted 8.8 percent in April although the labor force actually shrank by 11 workers month over month. The April number dropped from March's rate of 9.2 percent.

Comparing April 2012 and April 2013, Miami-Dade County's workforce shrank by nearly 500 workers, but the overall employment rose by roughly 5,400 jobs. This helped contribute to a year-over-year drop from 9.2 percent unemployment to 8.8 percent in April 2013.

Miami-Dade County's unemployment rate was the fifth highest in the state trailing Hendry, Flagler, Putnam, and St. Lucie Counties. In metro area unemployment, Miami's unemployment rate was second highest in the state only behind the Palm Coast metro area.

Overall, in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metro area, total jobs declined by 5,500 or roughly 0.2 percent. In the Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall metro area, jobs decreased from March to April by 4,000.

Comparing the two metro areas mentioned in the last paragraph finds that of 24,200 new non-agricultural jobs created in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metro area, just 2,500 of them were in the Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall metro area.

The metro area showing the quickest pace of job growth in the last month was the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area which added 5,300 jobs and has added 35,400 jobs in the last year.

Monroe County continued to pace the state with a 3.7 percent unemployment rate which translated to 1,841 residents on unemployment insurance in the county.

Governor Scott will be discussing jobs and the latest unemployment figures during a Friday morning campaign stop at a Tampa manufacturing firm. Scott will also sign a bill at the facility to give a tax break to manufacturers.

The big question the state and federal government can't answer is what kinds of jobs are the ones being created? Are the jobs full-time jobs with benefits and good-pay or are they part-time jobs with little to no benefits people are taking just to have something in troubled economy.

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