April’s unemployment figures provide more evidence that Florida’s job losses may have bottomed out in January, and that a long, slow recovery is in its initial stages.
For one thing, Florida’s unemployment rate declined from 12.3% in March to 12.0% in April. In addition, the state added an estimated 15,500 jobs in April.
In January, jobs in Florida totaled over 900,000 fewer than in March 2007, when the state’s jobs slide began. Since the end of January, though, about 37,000 new jobs have been added – compared to increases of 100,000-200,000 jobs per year during the height of Florida’s boom in the mid-2000s.
As might be expected, jobs in the leisure and hospitality industry rose in April – although they still remain lower than in April 2009. Over the past year, the only employment sectors to show significant job growth have been private education and health services, led by ambulatory healthcare services.