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Building boom powers South Florida employment

A 36-floor high rise condominium is under construction in Miami. Jobs in construction increased in Miami-Dade and statewide in August, according to a Labor Department report released Friday.
A 36-floor high rise condominium is under construction in Miami. Jobs in construction increased in Miami-Dade and statewide in August, according to a Labor Department report released Friday. AP

The construction boom and a healthy hospital sector helped propel employment numbers higher in South Florida.

In the South Florida metropolitan area, the construction and hospitals sectors showed impressive job gains in August of 7.1 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively, over a year ago, according to Department of Labor statistics released Friday. This helped lift the total number of non-farm jobs 2.8 percent over a year ago, to 2,401,900 jobs in August.

The seasonally adjusted jobless rate in Miami-Dade County fell to 6.8 percent, down from 6.9 percent in July and 8 percent in August 2013. In Broward, the jobless rate held steady at 5.7 percent, and was down just 0.5 percent from a year ago. For Palm Beach County, the rate was 6.6 percent, also the same as July and down from 7.8 percent a year ago.

In Miami-Dade, payroll job numbers increased, both month-over-month and year-over-year, according to the jobs report.

"When looking at the long-term trend of the payroll jobs, the seasonally adjusted data shows that August 2014 had the highest level of payroll jobs (1.09 million) even when compared to the height of the boom years prior to the great recession. And higher paying sectors continue to add jobs year-over-year,” said Larry K. Williams, president and CEO of the Beacon Council, Miami-Dade’s economic development organization.

Miami-Dade alone added 34,700 new nonagricultural payroll jobs for a 3.3 percent increase from August 2013 to August 2014. Miami-Dade had the second largest year-over-year gain in Florida, helped by job growth in construction, financial and professional services, manufacturing and hospitals.

Florida’s unemployment crept up in August while the state continued to add jobs, according to the statistics. Florida added 22,700 jobs over July and 211,200 over a year ago, for a total of 7,818,500 jobs in August, led by the trade, transportation and utilities sector. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 6.3 percent in August from 6.2 percent in July, but down from 7.1 percent a year ago.

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