Gov. Scott: Jacksonville Area Has Second Highest Job Growth Rate

Today, Governor Rick Scott announced the Jacksonville Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) experienced an increase of 16,500 nonagricultural, private sector jobs in April 2013 as compared to a year ago. The area also experienced an over the year decrease in the unemployment rate of 1.7 percentage points, from 8.0 percent in April 2012 to the current rate of 6.3 percent. The MSA, consisting of Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns counties, experienced an unemployment rate drop of 4.0 percentage points from the December 2010 rate of 10.3 percent.

Governor Scott said, “With the addition of 16,500 new, private sector jobs and a decreasing unemployment rate in the Jacksonville area, it is clear that Florida families are getting back to work. Everything we do is geared toward creating jobs and opportunities for Florida families. Our innovative policies and job-creating initiatives are working in the Jacksonville area and statewide.”

In addition to the drop in its unemployment rate, the Jacksonville MSA ranked second in the state for gains in total nonagricultural employment over the year with an increase of 16,500 jobs. The Jacksonville MSA ranked in the top five metro areas in the state for job growth in the following industries:

  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities
  • Financial Activities
  • Professional and Business Services
  • Construction
  • Leisure and hospitality

Housing starts were up over the year (+191 units, +59.9 percent) in the Jacksonville MSA in March 2013. The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey for the second quarter of 2013 indicated that Jacksonville area employers expect to continue hiring. In April 2013, the Jacksonville MSA was among the top four metro areas in Florida for online job demand with 23,084 openings and also ranked number four for STEM job openings with 4,914 job ads. STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and these jobs are considered high wage and high skill.

In April, First Coast Workforce Development, Inc. along with the state’s other 23 Regional Workforce Boards reported more than 41,300 Floridians were placed in jobs. An individual who receives employment and training assistance through a One-Stop Career Center and finds a job within 180 days is deemed a placement and may be reported by a regional workforce board. Of these individuals, 11,457 previously received Reemployment Assistance. In 2012, more than 426,000 Floridians were placed in jobs, with nearly 111,173 former claimants finding employment.

With the addition of 16,700 private sector jobs over the month, Florida has experienced positive annual job growth now for 33 consecutive months. This adds up to 330,000 new private sector jobs created in Florida since December 2010.

Florida’s unemployment rate decreased to 7.2 percent, down from the March 2013 rate of 7.5 percent and the lowest since September 2008. Since Governor Scott took office, the state’s unemployment rate has dropped 3.9 percentage points.

To view the April 2013 monthly employment data, visit:


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