New numbers released today show May was the eighth straight month of job growth in Florida. The Sunshine State’s unemployment dropped two-tenths of a percent in May, but there are still 980,000 people looking for work. But there are some encouraging signs.
24 thousand unemployed Floridians found work in May. At 10.6 percent the unemployment rate is the lowest it has been for 21 months. But Rebecca Rust, a state economist, says 980 thousand people are still looking for work. That’s more than the population of six states. “Florida has the second highest unemployment rate of the ten most populous states.”
There are other bright spots. The state-run online job site, Employ Florida, added 7,000 jobs last month, and has 40,000 more jobs listed than a year ago.
This business is looking for not one but two people. Larry Seymour started a windshield replacement service five years ago with just himself and a truck.
Now he works with his wife. They have a satellite office. One of the two positions they need to fill is a replacement position. But the other is because of growth.
Wife Sarah says business is growing because she and Larry aggressively seek work. “We’re the smaller, local, family-owned company, and if we don’t get out there and get our own people, the business is going to go somewhere else.”
20 people have applied for the two openings. Sarah says they are all well qualified. And while job postings are up, there are still three-and-a-half job seekers for every online job posted on the state site.
Legislation awaiting the governor’s signature would make it easier for employers to fire someone for conduct that takes place off the work site and avoid paying unemployment benefits.