Today, Governor Rick Scott highlighted that the Jacksonville Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) experienced an increase of more than 17,000 nonagricultural jobs in January 2013 as compared to a year ago, ranking third among all metro areas. The area also experienced an over-the-year decrease in its unemployment rate of 1.5 percentage points, from 9.0 percent in January 2012 to its current rate of 7.5 percent. The MSA, consisting of Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns counties, experienced an unemployment rate drop of 2.8 percentage points from the December 2010 rate of 10.3 percent.
Governor Scott said, "Everything we do is geared toward job creation and with more than 17,000 private sector jobs created compared to a year ago, Jacksonville's economy is headed in the right direction. That's further proof that IT'S WORKING. Since December 2010, the Jacksonville area has experienced a 2.8 percentage point drop in unemployment, which means thousands of opportunities are being created for Florida families. Because of the steps we have taken to create an environment where Florida's private-sector can grow, more-and-more Florida families are finding greater opportunities in the Sunshine State."
Among the five counties that comprise the region, Baker County led the way in over-the-year declines in the unemployment rate with a decrease of 2.4 percentage points, going from 9.7 percent to 7.3 percent, while St. Johns County's rate went from 7.9 percent to 6.2 percent, Duval County dropped from 9.4 percent to 8.0 percent, Clay County's rate declined from 8.5 percent to 6.9 percent, and Nassau County's rate went from 8.8 percent to 7.3 percent.
In addition to the drop in its unemployment rate, the Jacksonville MSA ranked third in the state for gains in total nonagricultural employment over the year with an increase of 17,500 jobs. The Jacksonville MSA ranked second in the state for job growth in financial activities, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality. The financial activities job sector has been growing in the Jacksonville MSA for 31 consecutive months.
Housing starts were up over the year (+48.8 percent) in the Jacksonville MSA in January 2013 (the latest available data), while the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey for the second quarter of 2013 indicated that Jacksonville area employers expect to continue hiring.
In February, WorkSource along with the state's other 23 Regional Workforce Boards reported more than 38,000 Floridians were placed in jobs. An individual who receives employment and training assistance through a One-Stop Career Center and finds a job within 180 days is deemed a placement and may be reported by a regional workforce board. Of these individuals, 11,034 previously received Reemployment Assistance. In 2012, more than 426,000 Floridians were placed in jobs, with nearly 111,173 former claimants finding employment.
Florida's unemployment rate decreased to 7.8 percent, down from the revised December 2012 rate of 7.9 percent and the lowest since November 2008. The state experienced an increase of 14,700 private sector jobs over the month. This increase brings the total number of private sector jobs created since December 2010 to 282,200.
To view the January 2013 monthly employment data, visit: