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Another Drop for Florida's Jobless Rate

DEO Florida

Florida’s unemployment rate continues to drop, to five percent even in November, down point-one percent from October. The Department of Economic Opportunity also announces more than one million private-sector jobs have been created since 2010.

DEO Director Jesse Panuccio says the five percent mark equals the national average, and translates to 486,000 unemployed out of a labor force of 9.6 million. Pensacola has seen 3,600 jobs added so far in 2015.

“The leading sector was education and health services with one thousand jobs,” said Panuccio. “Next was profession and business services with another thousand jobs, and then leisure and hospitality with 600.

All three counties in the western Panhandle saw jobless rates drop in November. Escambia went from 5.1% to 4.9%; Santa Rosa 4.4% to 4.3%, and Okaloosa dipped from 4.3% to 4.2%.

Panuccio advises students in the process of selecting a career to study the DEO numbers, and determine the best path for them – especially in the STEM categories -- Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

“If you look at the top-20 jobs in demand,” Panuccio said, “On that list you will find registered nurses; computer user support specialists, accountants, Web developers, network and systems administrators, computer system analysts and software developers. Those are good, higher-paying jobs.”

And the demand for STEM skills in Florida, says Panuccio, stretches from Pensacola to Key West. He adds that November was the single best month for job demand since those figures have been compiled.

Other sectors gaining jobs included trade, transportation, and utilities; construction, financial services and manufacturing. The government and information industries lost jobs over the year.

Next door, Alabama's unemployment rate for November rose a tenth of a percent from the previous month, to six percent even.