Latest News

Miami-Dade jobless rate drops to 8.4 percent; Florida rate drops to 8.1 percent

Florida’s unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent in November, its lowest level in four years.

November marked the second time this year that the unemployment rate fell by a dramatic 0.4 percent – the largest drop in month-over-month rates since October 1992, according to Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity.

In Miami-Dade County, the unemployment rate dropped to 8.4 percent, on a seasonally adjusted basis. That marks a decline of 0.3 percent from October and 1.8 percent drop year over year.

In Broward, the jobless rate declined 0.1 percent to 7.0 percent from October and was down 1.8 percent from November 2011. Seasonally adjusted numbers aren’t yet available for Broward.

The last time either county marked jobless rates this low was in late 2008.

The state’s unemployment has dropped 2 percentage points from a November 2011 level of 10.1 percent.

“It was a pretty good report. Statewide it is a significant decline in unemployment,’’ said Sean Snaith, director of University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Competitiveness. “If we can keep this momentum, 2013 will be a good year.’’

Broward County showed its first gain in construction jobs in 66 months. Despite groundbreaking on a number of new projects, Miami-Dade continued to lose construction jobs for a 62nd consecutive month.

Robert D. Cruz, chief economist for Miami-Dade County, said the drop in Miami area unemployment was particularly good, “because the decline in the unemployment rate is the result of residents finding employment and not persons leaving the workforce.’’

“Not only are we adding jobs to reduce unemployment, but we are also providing jobs to new people coming into the labor force,’’ Cruz said.

The number of Miami area residents with jobs rose 3.7% over the past year, while the size of the labor force rose by 1.6%.

Cruz was encouraged by a seasonally adjusted upward revision of total payroll employment in Miami by 1,100 jobs in October. Still, a preliminary estimate for November left total payroll jobs unchanged from October and payroll jobs in Miami have risen just 4,000 in four months.

Around Miami, professional and business service jobs grew 4.6 percent over the past year and financial services jobs increased almost 2 percent, sectors that weren’t previously strong.

“It’s good to see some businesses that weren’t participating in the recovery are picking up,’’ Cruz said.

As government cuts continue, public sector jobs in greater Miami continued to shrink, dropping 2.5 percent from November 2011.

Statewide, the total number of job postings increased by 12.4 percent in November 2012 from a year earlier to total 267,310 openings, according to the Help Wanted OnLine data series from the Conference Board, Gov. Rick Scott’s office said.

The November data show Florida and the region still are coping with higher jobless levels than the national average. On Dec. 7, the Labor Department reported that the U.S. unemployment rate had fallen two-tenths of a percentage point to 7.7 percent in November with the addition of 146,000 jobs, more than had been expected.