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- 2012 - October - 22nd -

Unemployment rates dropping in state, metro area and Duval

from staff

County, metro and state unemployment rates remain below 10 percent and continue to fall, state numbers show.

Duval County’s unemployment rate fell to 9 percent in September from 9.44 percent in August and from 10.86 percent in September 2011, according to seasonally adjusted state numbers.

The rates were lower in the five-county area.

In the Northeast Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, the adjusted rate fell to 8.14 percent in September from 8.63 percent in August and from 9.93 percent in September 2011.

For Florida, the September rate of 8.7 percent was down from 8.8 percent in August and 10.4 percent in September 2012.

The state’s reported rates for Duval County and Northeast Florida were adjusted by University of North Florida economist Paul Mason to reflect seasonal factors.

“The September numbers reflect an improvement in both the MSA and in Duval,” Mason said Friday.

He said the labor force, which comprises people working and actively looking for work, rose by more than 7,000 people in the metro area from August to September.

However, the number of those employed rose by 10,100, “reflecting more job seekers in the market, many of whom found jobs with fewer not finding jobs.”

The number of unemployed people fell by 2,980 over the month.

“One month does not make a trend, but it is encouraging,” Mason said.

Duval County accounted for about 65 percent of the metro area’s labor force in September and 68 percent of the unemployed workers.

There were 703,659 people in the labor force in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties in September, state numbers show.

Of those, 57,652 were unemployed.

Duval County accounts for 453,925, or 65 percent, of the metro area labor force.

In Duval, 39,387 people were unemployed, accounting for 68 percent of the metro area’s unemployed people in September.

Among the state’s 67 counties, Duval County’s unadjusted unemployment rate of 8.7 percent ranked the 35th highest. Nassau, Clay and Baker were Nos. 48-50 and St. Johns was No. 59, with an unadjusted rate of 6.8 percent.

The highest rate was Hendry County at 14.2 percent and the lowest was Monroe County at 5 percent.

Among the 23 Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the state, Jacksonville was the 18th highest at an unadjusted 8.2 percent.

Palm Coast ranked No. 1 at 11.9 percent. The Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin area was No. 23 at 5.9 percent.

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