The latest look at the state and local job market presents more of the same: sluggish job growth. Florida's unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.6% while Orlando's unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) rose to 8.7% from 8.3%. Though unemployment statewide is declining, the weak labor force participation has exaggerated the decline. Though Florida's noninstitutional adult population grew by 216,000 in the last year, the labor force grew by only 33,000, reducing the participation rate to 60.1%. If the participation rate had remained stable over the last year, the unemployment rate would be 9.5% (down from 10.7%, but significantly higher than the official rate of 8.6%). Florida added 9000 jobs in June (seasonally adjusted) and nearly 71,000 over the last year, which represents an increase of 1% (a slighter faster rate than experienced in recent months). Industries showing the largest gains include wholesale & retail trade (6600), professional & business services (5600), and leisure & hospitality (4200). The losers were led by construction (5300), manufacturing (3000) and private education services (2800).
Does the increase in the unemployment rate in Orlando indicate a worsening of the local job market? Though national and state data are seasonally adjusted, local data is not. However, the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) releases estimates of seasonally adjusted (SA) unemployment rates for metropolitan areas with a one month delay. Orlando's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in May 2012 was 8.6% (as opposed to 8.3% not seasonally adjusted). Based on seasonal adjustments in previous years, the June rate is probably about 8.6% (SA), indicating little, if any, change in the unemployment rate. Over the last year, employment in Orlando increased by 1%, matching that of the state.
What's the primary takeaway from the report? Employment growth in Florida remains sluggish and weaker than the nation, but the year-over-year rate of growth has increased a little (a little good news)!