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Jax Daily Record Monday, Jul. 22, 201312:00 PM EST

Unemployment rate: Duval up, metro area down


Duval County and the five-county Jacksonville metropolitan statistical area experienced job and labor-force growth in June compared to May, but Duval’s unemployment rate rose while the metro area rate fell.

A lot of that is because of students looking for work.

“There are a lot more high school and college students in Duval looking for jobs than the rest of the MSA,” said University of North Florida economics professor Paul Mason.

While the size of the labor force rose in each area, so did the number of unemployed people, indicating more people were looking for jobs but not finding them.

Duval County’s unemployment rate rose to 7.14 percent in June from 6.71 percent in May, according to state numbers seasonally adjusted by Mason.

The rate for the metropolitan statistical area of Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties fell to 6.58 percent in June from 6.83 percent in May.

June’s rates were below the June 2012 rates, however.

In June 2012, the Duval adjusted unemployment rate was 8.85 percent and the metro rate was 8.1 percent.

The labor force is defined as people working and looking for work.

People who are not looking for jobs are not included in the numbers.

“The downward trend in the unemployment rate in the entire Jacksonville area resumed in June 2013, but the Duval county numbers were not as positive,” Mason said.

“June reflects the primary month of student entry into the labor market, generating growth in the labor force, those employed and those unemployed,” he said.

In the metro area in June, the labor force of 711,765 people comprised 662,237 employed people and 49,528 people looking for work.

The labor force was up by 3,228 people over the month, but just 161 of those were employed. The bulk of the increase came from the 3,067 people counted as unemployed.

In Duval County, the labor force of 457,986 people comprised 423,474 employed people and 34,512 unemployed people.

Only 103 more people were working, while another 2,547 people were counted as unemployed.

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