The unemployment rate in Miami-Dade County held steady in June as the local economy kept chugging along.
The share of people looking for work who can’t find it — the official definition of unemployment — was 6.3 percent in June, unchanged from May, according to a preliminary report released Friday by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. That’s down from 6.9 percent in June 2014.
Broward County’s unemployment rate was 5.1 percent in June, down from 5.2 percent in May and 6 percent in June 2015. The state unemployment rate also fell slightly to 5.5 percent in June. Nationally, the unemployment rate is 5.3 percent.
“The local trend is pretty consistent,” said Mekael Teshome, an analyst at PNC Bank. “We’re seeing broad gains across industries, especially in consumer spending, healthcare and construction.”
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Miami created 27,900 non-agricultural jobs year-over-year, the third most in the state after Orlando and Tampa.
But it’s not all good news.
One potential cause for concern: More than 23,000 people in Miami-Dade have dropped out of the labor force since January. That’s the first time the local civilian labor force has gone down consistently since 2009.
Teshome said a declining number of people working and looking for work can reduce a region’s potential for economic growth. “It’s not an isolated issue,” Teshome said. “It’s happening around the country, not just in South Florida.”
The decline could be the result of older works deciding to retire early as stock and home prices go up. “Whatever’s happening, we need to keep an eye on it,” Teshome added.
Rates for Miami-Dade, Florida and the U.S. are adjusted to account for seasonal changes in the labor market. Broward’s rate is not adjusted.
Job growth in South Florida was fueled over the last year by its most dependable industries: tourism, construction, health care and financial services. Only the public sector lost jobs.
There are plenty of local employeers looking to hire.
The job aggregator Simply Hired reported that it had more than 47,000 job listings for South Florida on its website in June, up 3 percent over the same month the previous year. The top hiring companies were Miami Dade College, Oracle, University of Miami, Memorial Healthcare System and Baptist Health South Florida.
Sean Snaith, an economist at the University of Central Florida, said he expects to see the local economy stay on the same even keel for the next six months.
“I think we’re seeing an evening out of the growth that brought us out of the recession,” Snaith said. “Job creation has been pretty strong but it hasn’t been accelerating. It’s stayed at a pretty steady level.”
But Snaith added that economic instability in Europe, Latin America and China, as well as a strong dollar and a likely hike in U.S. interest rates this fall, could slow down the national economy beyond that.
“There’s a growing amount of uncertainty in terms of both the international situation and domestic policy,” Snaith said. “Financial markets may become more volatile.”