Gov. DeSantis announces state unemployment rate is 2.6%, plus Tampa data

On Friday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced Florida’s February unemployment rate was 2.6 percent, while the national rate increased to 3.6 percent.

Image/Office of the Governor of Florida

In addition, Florida’s unemployment rate has decreased by 0.7 of a percentage point over the year and has remained lower than the nation for 28 consecutive months since November 2020.

In February 2023, Florida’s private sector employment grew by 5.0 percent (406,600 jobs) over the year. Between February 2022 and February 2023, Florida’s labor force grew by 247,000 (2.3 percent), which is faster than the national labor force growth rate of 1.5 percent during the same time period.

“Florida’s economy continues to be number one in new business formations while growing our labor force and creating jobs faster than the national rate,” said Governor DeSantis. “As the federal government continues to flounder on key issues like inflation, Florida will continue to get the fundamentals right.”

Florida’s private sector employment increased by 0.4 percent over the month (+34,800 jobs) in February 2023, faster than the national rate by 0.2 percentage point over the month and 2.0 percentage points over the year. In February 2023, Florida employers have added jobs for 33 months since May 2020, with the exception of October 2022. Florida’s over-the-year private sector job growth rate has exceeded the nations’ job growth rate for 23 consecutive months since April 2021.

In February 2023, trade, transportation and utilities gained the most jobs among all major industries, adding 12,800 jobs (+0.7 percent) over the month, followed by education and health services, adding 11,400 jobs (+0.8 percent), and leisure and hospitality, adding 10,700 jobs (+0.8 percent).

In Tampa:

The Tampa area gained the highest number of private sector jobs over the year in February 2023 among all metro areas. Tampa area private sector employment grew by 67,400 jobs over the year, an increase of 5.2 percent. In February 2023, the Tampa metro area led the metro areas in job gains over the year in professional and business services, increasing by 18,100 jobs; education and health services, increasing by 17,200 jobs; construction, increasing by 4,800 jobs; manufacturing, increasing by 3,200 jobs; and other services, increasing by 3,100 jobs.

The Tampa area’s labor force grew by 65,162 over the year in February 2023, a 4.0 percent increase. The Tampa area’s unemployment rate was 2.5 percent in February 2023, a decrease of 0.7 percentage point from the year ago rate of 3.2 percent.


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