Northeast Florida unemployment ticks up to 3.4% in March

It's the highest the rate has been since August 2023.

  • By Mark Basch
  • | 1:00 p.m. April 20, 2024
  • | 4 Free Articles Remaining!
The unemployment rate in Duval County was 3.5% in March, a 0.1 percentage point increase.
The unemployment rate in Duval County was 3.5% in March, a 0.1 percentage point increase.
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Jacksonville’s unemployment rate rose slightly in March while job growth slowed, the Florida Department of Commerce reported April 19.

The jobless rate in the Jacksonville metropolitan area of Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties rose from 3.3% in February to 3.4% in March.

That was the highest unemployment rate for the area since it was also 3.4% in August 2023.

Jacksonville area nonagricultural businesses increased their payrolls by 14,500 from March 2023 through March 2024, a 1.8% growth rate. That’s down from February’s growth rate of 2%.

All five counties in the metro area had higher unemployment rates, with Duval County the highest at 3.5%, a 0.1 percentage point increase.

St. Johns County had the lowest rate in March at 3.2%, with Nassau at 3.3% and Baker and Clay both at 3.4%.

Most industries increased jobs in the past 12 months but there were two exceptions among major business sectors.

Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services employers reported a net decline of 2,100 jobs, or 3.6%, since March 2023 and the transportation, warehousing and utilities sector lost 1,300 jobs, or 2.4%.

The biggest job gains among business sectors in the 12-month period came from private education and health services, up 5,300 or 4.3%; leisure and hospitality, up 3,600 or 4%; and retail trade, up 2,100, or 2.5%.

Northeast Florida also saw an increase of 3,200 government jobs, or 4%.

Jacksonville’s unemployment rate was higher than Florida’s seasonally adjusted rate of 3.2%, up 0.1 percentage point from February.

The Department of Commerce does not adjust local area rates for seasonal factors in its monthly labor market report.

Jacksonville also lagged behind Florida’s statewide job growth rate of 2.2%.



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