For the fifth straight month, Miami-Dade’s unemployment rate fell, according to a monthly report released Friday by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
In June, the county’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate hit 4.8 percent, down from 5 percent in May 2017 and 5.3 percent during the same period a year ago.
“We are seeing an increase in the number of jobs out there, because core economic drivers continue to power ahead, and at the same time there’s increased confidence in the workforce, so more people are searching for work,” said Mekael Teshome, an analyst at PNC Bank.
But the jobless rate in Miami-Dade is still higher than in Florida and surrounding counties, mostly because of weakness in global markets and higher cost of living relative to income, said Teshome.
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“Miami-Dade has more exposure to international markets, and definitely last year but even now it’s been a weak global environment,” he said. “That’s kind of handicapped Miami-Dade.”
Broward County’s jobless rate increased to 4.0 percent in June from 3.8 percent in May. That may seem like bad news, but it’s actually the opposite, say experts. While the unemployment rate grew slightly, the number of people seeking work rose more quickly.
Compared with Miami-Dade, Broward has more people moving into the area because it is more affordable, said Teshome. That means more people in the workforce and growth in the construction sector.
Broward county’s unemployment rate stood at 4.8 percent a year ago in June.
This month, Florida’s statewide unemployment rate fell below the nation’s average. Florida had a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.1 percent unemployment in June, down from 4.3 percent in May. The national rate ticked up slightly, from 4.3 percent to 4.4 percent. The unemployment figures for Florida and the nation stood at 4.9 percent in June 2016.
All figures except for Broward county are adjusted to account for seasonal fluctuations in the workforce.
Sectors that showed job growth in Florida this month include professional and business services, construction, healthcare, and tourism. After a number of challenges to the tourism industry last year, said Teshome, the sector is in better shape. One of last year’s biggest challenges came in the late summer with the outbreak of Zika.
Year over year, the number of jobs in the state increased 2.9 percent for the same month, which is higher than the national average of 1.6 percent. The over-the-year job growth rate in Florida has exceeded the nation’s rate since May 2012.