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Florida defies critics with robust job growth

Florida has become the nation’s job engine having now produced 20 consecutive months of job growth. The sunshine state has also experienced a whopping 14 consecutive months of labor force increases, the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity reports.

What’s more, it continues to outperform national economic figures even while residents from “blue” head south to the state.

In December 2021, the labor force was up 29,000 from the previous month, bringing the total number of people employed in the month to 10.6 million.

Florida businesses gained 11,900 private-sector jobs in December 2021 compared to the previous month.

The state’s unemployment rate is 4.4 percent, having decreased by 0.1 percentage points from the previous month.

Florida businesses created 479,300 total jobs in 2021, increasing by 5.6 percent over the year, faster than the national job growth rate of 4.5 percent. Florida’s labor force today is greater than it was in February 2020, before the coronavirus hit, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity reports.

In the past year, Florida’s labor force grew by 6.1 percent, more than six times faster than the nation’s.

Florida’s strong job and economic growth is an indicator of consumer confidence in the job market, the department’s Secretary Dane Eagle said, with Floridians remaining “confident in their ability to find good jobs to continue providing for their families and enhancing their quality of life.”

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All of Florida’s major industries saw job gains over the year, including those that gained back all the jobs they lost during the pandemic. Industries that gained the most jobs over the month were leisure and hospitality, adding 8,400 new jobs. Trade, transportation, and utilities added 7,200 new jobs, and other services added 4,300 new jobs. Education and health services added 1,100 new jobs.

“Month after month, the data continues to show that freedom first economic policies create jobs and keep our economy moving,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said. “Our new businesses and workforce growth show that Floridians have the opportunities they need to thrive. We will continue to lead the nation in economic growth because we value the individual freedoms of Floridians and protect the ability for our citizens to succeed.”

There are roughly 550,000 available jobs statewide, the Department of Economic Opportunity reports.

–Metro Voice