Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that in November, St Johns, Baker, Clay, Duval, and Nassau counties in northeast Florida continued to experience declines in unemployment while the area’s hiring and housing outlook remained bright.
The November 2012 unemployment rate for the region of 7.6 percent dropped 1.9 percentage points from last November’s rate of 9.5 percent, while the drop since December 2010 is 2.7 percentage points from 10.3 percent to 7.6 percent.
“St Johns County is making steady progress in our effort to create quality jobs,” Kirk Wendland, President of the St Johns Chamber of Commerce, told Historic City News reporters. “There is no question that the focus and collaboration of our State and local leaders is paying dividends.”
The region received praise from the governor; being credited for adding 2,000 financial service jobs over the past year — the most in the state. The Metropolitan Statistical Area ranked fourth in the state for gains in total nonagricultural employment over the year; reporting an increase of 5,400 jobs.
“In communities throughout Florida, families are finding new job opportunities,” Governor Scott told reporters. “Since 2010, the private sector has created more than 200,000 private sector jobs, Florida’s housing market is improving – and unemployment is down.”
Since December 2010, Baker County led the metro area by having the largest decline in the unemployment rate, going from 10.4 percent to 6.9 percent — a 3.5 percentage point drop. St Johns County experienced a 2.3 percentage point drop from 8.8 percent to 6.5 percent.
In addition to the drop in unemployment, housing starts were up in the area based on the latest available data; up +19.2 percent in October 2012 and up +101.3 percent over the past year. The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey for the first quarter of 2013 indicated that area employers expect to continue hiring.
“I’m committed to growing more jobs for Florida families, and while our work isn’t finished, we’ll continue working to make Florida the best place in the world to find a job and raise a family,” Scott said.