State jobless rate drops to 7.4 percent

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BY JIM TURNER
NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

TALLAHASSEE – With the state gaining back more than half of the jobs lost since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Florida’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.4 percent in August.

That represented a major decrease from an adjusted 11.4 percent mark in July amid an accelerated push to reopen businesses. The new rate, an estimate from mid-August, projected 753,000 Floridians were jobless from a labor force of 10.138 million people.

The state lost nearly 1.18 million non-agricultural jobs from February to April as the pandemic hit, but it has gained back 631,600, according to the Department of Economic Opportunity.

The new figures provide a snapshot of the state before Gov. Ron DeSantis recently allowed Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward counties to join the second phase of an economic reopening effort that began in early June. Also, the figures do not reflect a move that allowed bars and craft breweries this week to again serve drinks for on-site consumption in most of the state.

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