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Many Florida cities seeing unemployment rates above statewide average

Florida’s unemployment rate hit 10.9 percent for August, but 12 out of 20 metropolitan areas had higher unemployment rates, according to the “Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment” report (.pdf) released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The study shows that in almost all states’ metropolitan areas, the unemployment rate dropped between August 2010 and August 2011.

The Florida metropolitan areas with the highest unemployment were Palm Coast — followed by Sebastian-Vero Beach, Port St.Lucie, Ocala and Lakeland-Winter Haven.

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metropolitan area had an 11.2 percent unemployment rate; Tampa-St.Petersburg-Clearwater’s rate was 11 percent and 10.3 percent in the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metropolitan area were unemployed.

A report on the “State of Working Florida 2011″ issued by the Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy (aka RISEP) at Florida International University on Labor Day stated that “in the last six months unemployment has come down to 10.7% and 64,300 jobs have been added,” but job growth has been “concentrated in a few industries, particularly Health Care and Social Assistance, Accommodation and Food Services, and Administrative and Waste services. In July the state lost 22,000 jobs, mostly due to losses in local government including public schools.”

The report added:

While higher educated workers in higher paying jobs appear to be doing fairly well and even gaining ground in wages, lower educated workers, African American workers, and young workers, are still facing extremely high unemployment rates and wage decreases. As many economists and advocates have noted recently, this crisis continues absent meaningful action at the federal level to create jobs.

The metropolitan areas report indicates that across the U.S., “unemployment rates were lower in August than a year earlier in 262 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 84 areas, and unchanged in 26 areas,” and also that “100 metropolitan areas reported jobless rates of at least 10.0 percent, down from 119 areas a year earlier, while 74 areas posted rates below 7.0 percent, up from 55 areas in August 2010.”

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers released last week, Florida had the second highest number of mass layoff actions in the nation during the month of August.

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