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Jax Daily Record Friday, Aug. 20, 202110:27 AM EST

Jacksonville area payrolls jump, unemployment drops

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St. Johns and Nassau counties post two of the lowest jobless rates in the state.
by: Mark Basch Contributing Writer

Jacksonville’s unemployment rate fell in July with two local counties having some of the lowest jobless rates in the state.

The unemployment rate in the Jacksonville metropolitan area fell from 5% in June to 4.5% in July, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity reported Aug. 20.

Duval County’s rate fell from 5.4% to 4.9% last month, but the other four counties in the metro area had lower rates.

St. Johns County fell by 0.4 percentage points to 3.6%, giving it the second-lowest jobless rate among Florida’s 67 counties. Nassau County, which fell by 0.5 points to 4.0%, was the fourth-lowest.

Clay County fell by 0.4 points to 4.2% and Baker County fell by 0.3 points to 4.7%.

Nonfarm employers in the Jacksonville area added 1,900 jobs to their payrolls in July. The payroll count jumped by 35,300 to 727,200 since July 2020, when the economy was in the early stages of its COVID-19 recovery.

However, Jacksonville has not reached its pre-pandemic level of 732,000 nonfarm jobs in February 2020.

The biggest gains in the past year came in the leisure and hospitality sector, which was the hardest hit by pandemic-related shutdowns.

That sector gained 9,500 jobs to 80,800 from July 2020 to July 2021

Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose by 0.1 point to 5.1% in July. The Department of Economic Opportunity does not adjust the Jacksonville area data for seasonal factors. his is the story here.

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