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July 2013 Unemployment Remains At 7.1 Percent

Department of Economic Opportunity

Florida’s unemployment rate is 7.1 percent. It’s been at that level since May.

That’s still below the national average of 7.4 percent and almost five points lower than it was in 2010 when it peaked at around 11 percent.

Madison, Hendry, Flagler, Putnam and St. Lucie Counties continue to have unemployment rates near or above 10 percent, while Franklin, Okaloosa, Monroe, St. Johns and Walton Counties have unemployment rates below 6 percent.

Florida recorded more than 34,000 new private sector jobs in July, but those gains are partially offset with losses in manufacturing, and state, local and federal government employment.

“We are looking historically over the last two years, we’re continuing to come down. Obviously the goal is to get back to full employment, and we think we’re well on the way," said Jesse Panuccio, Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, which tracks unemployment.

Governor Rick Scott downplayed the overall numbers but highlighted areas of the state like Orlando, Miami, Pensacola and Jacksonville—which saw the biggest job growth and largest drops in unemployment in July.

Hendry County, which has a big agriculture industry, continues to struggle with the highest unemployment rate at more than 15 percent. While Franklin County, struggling to save its oyster industry, has an unemployment rate at around 6 percent.  The counties with the fewest people without jobs are Walton and Marion.