Unemployment rates hit record lows in 3 states

Cheryl Sanders
May 22, 2017

Jobless figures for Manatee and Sarasota counties dropped sharply in April as the Florida unemployment rate reached its lowest percentage in nearly a decade, more signs that the job market is tightening around the Sunshine State. The industry with the most job growth in Naples was construction with over 1,200 new jobs. The comparable estimates for the nation were 4.4 percent in April, 4.5 percent in March and 5 percent a year ago.

The state has added about 58,600 jobs since April 2016.

Small increases in the unemployment rate accompanied by larger increases in the labor force for the fourth consecutive month continue "to indicate that workers are entering or rejoining the labor force and many are finding work", he said.

April's rate was almost two percentage points lower than in April 2016, when it was 3.8 percent. The unemployment rate has tumbled to 4.4 percent from 4.8 percent in January. The seasonally adjusted rate for Colorado Springs will be released by the bureau May 31.

"The bottom line is Wisconsin's economy is growing and adding jobs, and our biggest challenge now is finding enough skilled talent to fill openings employers have available", said Department of Workforce Development secretary Ray Allen.

Colorado had the lowest unemployment rate in April at 2.3 percent, followed by Hawaii and North Dakota at 2.7 percent each, and New Hampshire and South Dakota at 2.8 percent each.

The state Labor Department says the April jobless rate announced Friday is down four-tenths of a percent from March.

The number of job seekers in Napa County dropped 16.7 percent year-over-year. Leisure and hospitality and professional and business services each eliminated 900 jobs, manufacturing was down 800 and 100 was cut from other services.

The state's service industries fared better in April, adding 9,400 jobs.

Hendry - between Fort Myers and Lake Okeechobee - had the highest unemployment rate among counties in Florida, at 6 percent, while Monroe County - the Florida Keys - had the lowest, at 2.6 percent.

Construction and mining posted the largest jobs gain, 2,800, to 62,500, up 4.7 percent. Alaska has the second-highest unemployment rate at 6.6 percent.

Braun noted Indiana's historically low number of unemployment insurance claims are also a sign of a constricting labor market. Alachua, Bradford, Clay, Nassau and Union counties were lower than the northeast Florida average, while Baker, Columbia and Flagler counties had higher rates.

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