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Jax Daily Record Friday, Jul. 16, 202111:00 AM EST

Jacksonville’s jobless rate rises to 5% in June

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Every county in the metro area saw an increase in unemployment last month.
by: Mark Basch Contributing Writer

Jacksonville’s jobless rate jumped higher in June, a month when unemployment typically rises with new high school and college graduates entering the labor force.

The unemployment rate in the Jacksonville metropolitan area of Duval, Baker, Clay, Nassau and St. Johns counties rose from 4.2% in May to 5% in June, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity reported July 16.

The number of people in the labor force, those with jobs or actively looking for work, rose by almost 13,000 to 830,496 last month. But only about 6,000 of those job seekers were able to find work, so the unemployment rate rose.

Unemployment was much lower than the June 2020 rate of 8.8%, when businesses were beginning to reopen after COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns.

Every county in the metro area saw an increase in unemployment last month, with Duval’s rate rising by 0.7 percentage points to 5.4%.

St. Johns County rose by 0.8 points to 4%, but it continued to have the second-lowest rate in the state behind Monroe County’s 3.5%.

Nassau County was at 4.5% last month, Clay was at 4.6% and Baker was at 4.8%.

One Northeast Florida county which is not part of the metropolitan area, Putnam, tied with Hendry County for the highest jobless rate in the state in June at 7.6%.

Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose by 0.1 point to 5%. The Department of Economic Opportunity does not provide seasonally adjusted data for local areas.

Non-farm Jacksonville area businesses reported a decline of 1,000 jobs on their payrolls last month.

However, area businesses recorded a net gain of 36,000 jobs since June 2020 to 723,400, a 5.2% increase.

The biggest gains continued to come from the leisure and hospitality sector, which was hard hit in 2020 by pandemic-related shutdowns.

Businesses in the sector added 2,100 jobs in June and had a net increase of 9,500 since June 2020, a 13.4% gain.

While businesses are recovering, Jacksonville has not caught up to its prepandemic level of 732,000 nonfarm jobs in February 2020.

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