Florida economy adds jobs as hiring moderates in May

BY SourceMedia | ECONOMIC | 06/22/22 01:05 PM EDT By Chip Barnett

Florida continues to see job growth even as the unemployment rate remained at 3.0% in May, according to data from the state Department of Economic Opportunity.

The state saw gain of 11,200 in non-farm payrolls in May, the 25th month in a row Florida has experienced growth, but the smallest monthly increase in jobs this year.

Since December 2020, Florida?s unemployment rate has been lower than the national rate for 18 consecutive months, the DEO said Friday.
Year-over-year, the labor force growth rate in May was 3.0%, exceeding the national growth rate of 2.2%. Florida?s year-over-year private sector job growth rate has exceeded the nation?s for 14 straight months.

The May jobs data demonstrates the strength of Florida?s economy, according to state DEO Secretary Dane Eagle.

Private sector industries gaining the most jobs in May were in professional and business services, manufacturing, leisure and hospitality and trade, transportation and utilities.

However, Wells Fargo (WFC) noted the moderation in job growth in May and said that April?s increase was revised slightly lower.

Construction payrolls fell by 4,000 and mining and logging lost 3,900 jobs during the month while retailers reportedly cut 4,500 jobs in May and financial services providers cut 2,100 jobs, the firm said.

Wells Fargo (WFC) said, however, that seasonal adjustment played an outsized role in May, which might have caused job growth to be understated.

?While the slowdown in job growth coincides with growing concerns about the broader economy, we do not believe the May data mark a turning point for Florida's economy,? Wells Fargo (WFC) said. ?Our optimism about the state's economy is based on both the large number of job openings in the state and the much stronger employment figures in the household survey, which is used to generate the monthly unemployment rate.?

The household survey showed a rise of 58,000 in the number of those employed in the state last month, rising ?by about as much as it could possibly rise without pulling Florida's unemployment rate lower.?

While Florida's jobless rate was unchanged in May, it was actually rounded up from 2.955%.

Moreover, Wells Fargo (WFC) said there are more than 700,000 job openings in Florida right now, which is more than double the number of unemployed.

"There is no question Florida's labor market is incredibly tight," Wells Fargo (WFC) said. "The latest count of job openings show there are more than two job openings for every unemployed person in Florida. Moreover, six Florida counties now boast unemployment rates at or below 2%."

Year-over-year, employers in the state added 468,100 jobs, the third largest gain in the U.S. after California and Texas.

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