Sarasota-Manatee’s combined unemployment rate hit 5% in June as the local labor force grew by about 10,000 jobs.
The latest jobless rate represented a significant increase over the previous month, when unemployment was 4.1% in the two-county region. Sarasota County had a 4.9% unemployment rate in June and Manatee County’s was 5%. Local unemployment numbers are not seasonally adjusted.
Employers in the region added 6,101 jobs to their payrolls between May and June, and the labor force also increased to 388,735 from 379,060 in May.
The biggest year-over-year jobs gains in Sarasota-Manatee were in professional and business services, which added 5,400 jobs; leisure and hospitality, which added 3,200 jobs; and education and health services, which added 3,100 jobs.
Anthony Gagliano, vice president of business and economic development at CareerSource Suncoast in Bradenton, said that the big jump in the unemployment rate is likely because about 10,000 people joined the labor force between May and June. A lot of them haven’t found jobs yet, he said.
“The end of school and seasonal jobs without employment for the summer have traditionally raised the unemployment rates in June too,” Gagliano said.
Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in June was 5%, up from 4.9% in May. The slight increase also is because the labor force is growing — 83,000 people joined the pool of job seekers between May and June, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
As more people join the labor force in Florida, the country is dealing with a labor shortage where employers are struggling to find people to work. On July 7, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 9.2 million job openings in May, the highest number of openings for a single month since data were first published in 2000.
In May, 3.6 million workers quit their jobs. That’s down slightly from April, which saw the highest number of workers quitting their jobs in a single month in recorded history — 4 million.
That doesn’t include the 1.4 million who were either laid off or discharged.
In Sarasota-Manatee, the most in-demand jobs are in the health care field, Gagliano said. Demand is especially high for registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, social services workers and mental health and substance abuse social workers.
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