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Unemployment rate stalls at 8.6 percent for June

Florida’s unemployment rate is holding steady at 8.6-percent.  The new figure comes on the heels of a report from the states research arm that says much of the fall in unemployment is over blown.

The state’s unemployment rate fall from almost 12 percent in December 2009, to 8.6 percent in June. On the surface, those numbers look good. It appears that many Floridians are finding work. But behind that 8.6-percent jobless number is another story.

Earlier in the week, The legislature’s research office *released a report that says the decrease in unemployment has less to do with more people gaining jobs, and more to do with people just giving up.

So the bottom line is this: While the state may have created 9,000 new jobs in June, that’s still far fewer than what’s needed to get Florida’s economy moving. And when you add in the numbers of people who have given up looking for work, that 8.6-percent figure, according to the state, should be closer to 9.5  percent.

But state Economist Rebecca Rust says what’s important to look at is not what’s happening from month to month, but what is happening over a long period of time.

“Generally when we look at number of unemployed the fact that employment has gained more than the number of unemployment has declined we also can assume that many of the unemployed are finding jobs.”

The unemployment rate is based off the unemployed actively looking for jobs. And Rust says that means in a growing economy it could go up as more people enter the market. The state has set up EmployFloridaMarketplace.com to help job seekers find a career.

*See report dated 07/17/2012

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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