Northeast Florida unemployment rate edges up to 2.7% as graduates enter market

From May 2022 through May 2023, metro area businesses added 31,800 jobs, led by the leisure and hospitality sector.

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  • | 11:12 a.m. June 16, 2023
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Jacksonville’s unemployment rate rose in May, a normal seasonal trend as college and high school graduates enter the workforce.

The jobless rate in the Jacksonville metropolitan area of Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties rose from 2.3% in April to 2.7% in May, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity reported June 16.

The state agency does not adjust metro area data for seasonal factors in its monthly reports. It said Florida’s statewide unemployment was unchanged in May at a seasonally adjusted 2.6%. 

But before the seasonal adjustment, the rate rose by 0.4 percentage points to 2.7%, the same as in Jacksonville.

The agency’s survey of Jacksonville area households found that the number of people with jobs rose by about 3,000 in May.

However, the size of the labor force – people employed or actively seeking jobs – rose by more than 6,000 to 863,317, so the unemployment rate rose.

All five counties in the metro area had increases in the jobless rate in May. 

Duval County rose from 2.4% in April to 2.8% in May.

The other four counties had lower rates with St. Johns at 2.4%, Nassau at 2.5%, Clay at 2.6% and Baker at 2.7%.

The Department of Economic Opportunity’s survey of nonfarm business payrolls found strong job growth in the Jacksonville area in May.

From May 2022 through May 2023, Northeast Florida businesses added 31,800 jobs, a 4.1% growth rate.

Every industry sector increased jobs in the 12-month period except mining and logging, which was unchanged at 400 jobs.

The biggest job gains have come in the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 6,400 jobs, a 7.4% gain.

Other big gains came in professional, scientific and technical services, which added 4,100, or 7.4%, and financial activities, which added 3,400, or 4.7%.

Florida’s statewide growth rate was 3.5% in the 12-month period.



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