NAPLES, Fla. — Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that Florida businesses have created more than 1.5 million jobs since December 2010. Unemployment rates in Southwest Florida areas have dropped in the past year. The Naples area’s unemployment rate was a low 3.4 percent, down 0.3 percentage points from a year ago. Fort Myers’ unemployment rate was also 3.4 percent, down 0.5 percentage points in the past year. Additionally, the Fort Myers area had an increase of 800 new private-sector jobs in the past year. Statewide, Florida businesses created 12,500 new jobs in March.

Governor Scott said, “Florida businesses have created more than 1.5 million jobs since I took office in December 2010. The low unemployment rates in Southwest Florida demonstrates that more Florida families than ever before have the opportunity to succeed and we will continue to work hard to make sure that every Floridian who wants a job can find one.”

As of March, Florida’s unemployment rate is at 3.9 percent, a drop of 6.9 percentage points since December 2010; this drop is faster than the national decline of 5.2 percentage points. In the last year, 132,000 people entered Florida’s labor force, a growth of 1.3 percent, which is greater than the national labor force growth rate of 1.0 percent.

The industry with the highest job growth in Naples over the year was professional and business services with 900 new jobs. In March, the Naples area had 4,125 online job openings, including 658 for high-skill, high-wage STEM occupations.

The industry with the largest job gains in Fort Myers over the year was professional and business services with 1,600 new jobs. In March, the Fort Myers area had 8,400 online job openings, including 1,334 high-skill, high-wage STEM occupations.

To view the March 2018 employment data visit www.floridajobs.org/labor-market-information/labor-market-information-press-releases/monthly-press-releases.

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