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Jax Daily Record Friday, Jun. 17, 202210:41 AM EST

Jacksonville’s unemployment rate edges up to 2.3%

The May figure is slightly above the record low 2.2% in April as the area added 35,900 jobs over the year.
by: Mark Basch Contributing Writer

Jacksonville’s unemployment rate edged higher in May from its record-low level the previous month, even as more people found jobs.

The unemployment rate in the Jacksonville metropolitan area rose from 2.2% in April to 2.3% in May, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity said June 17.

The April rate was the lowest in the agency’s records, which started in 1990.

The agency does not adjust the Jacksonville area data for seasonal factors, and May is a month when unemployment normally rises with new college and high school graduates entering the labor force.

The number of people in the workforce in the metropolitan area of Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties rose by about 10,000 last month to 828,464.

However, most of those people said they found jobs, with the number of employed rising by about 9,000 to 809,141.

Duval County’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 2.5% in May but the other four counties in the metro area rose slightly, while staying below Duval’s rate.

St. Johns County’s jobless rate rose by 0.2 percentage points to 1.9% but the county continued to have the second-lowest rate in the state behind Monroe County’s 1.5%.

Nassau County was tied for third lowest at 2%, while Clay was at 2.2% and Baker at 2.3%.

Statewide, Florida’s unemployment rate was unchanged at a seasonally adjusted 3%, the Department of Economic Opportunity said.

The agency’s survey of nonfarm businesses in the Jacksonville area found the region added 35,900 jobs from May 2021 through May 2022, a 4.9% growth rate.

The biggest gain came in the professional and business services sector, which grew by 13,700 jobs, or 11.9%.

Florida’s statewide growth rate was 5.3% in the 12-month period.

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