Florida jobless rate at 3.4 percent in May

A now hiring sign is displayed in the window of a Brooklyn business on October 5, 2018 in New York, United States. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Florida’s unemployment rate for May showed a slight drop from revised April numbers.

The state Department of Economic Opportunity announced Friday that Florida’s jobless rate stood at 3.4 percent in May, reflecting 353,000 people out of work from a workforce of 10.3 million. The state had initially released a 3.4 percent rate for April but later revised the estimate to 3.5 percent.

Florida’s unemployment rate remains below the national rate of 3.6 percent. Among the categories of jobs that did well in Florida last month were in the fields of construction and leisure and hospitality.

“People believe in low taxation, decreased regulation and what Gov. (Ron) DeSantis is doing to create the environment for businesses to grow,” Ken Lawson, executive director of the Department of Economic Opportunity, said Friday.

Local government jobs grew by 1,700 from April to May. Slight losses were posted in categories involving trade, transportation and utilities and professional and business services.

State government jobs fell by 900. Among the state’s metropolitan statistical areas, the Crestview-Fort Walton-Destin region had the lowest jobless rate at 2.5 percent in May, followed by the Gainesville, Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island and Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford areas each at 2.8 percent.

The highest rates were found in the metropolitan statistical areas for Homosassa Springs and The Villages, each at 4.6 percent.

The Panama City area, which continues to recover from Hurricane Michael, was at 3.7 percent. The storm-battered region started the year with a 6 percent unemployment rate.