Florida’s unemployment rate holds as state has best job creation in 16 months
By Emily Roach
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
More jobs were created in August than in any of the past 15 months, but workers continued to give up on their job searches, creating a mixed employment picture and stagnant unemployment rate.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity reported Friday that 23,200 jobs were added to payrolls in August, the best figure since April 2011. The unemployment rate stayed at 8.8 percent, remaining above the national rate of 8.1 percent, which fell 0.2 percentage points in August.
Howard McKenzie of Boynton Beach knows the job pool. He’s looking for work for the second time this year, and he was one of more than 3,000 people drawn to the JOB News job fair in West Palm Beach this week.
“I just think the economy is doing a little better. I think there are more jobs available than back” in May, he said.
But the recovery is “not happening fast enough,” said Josue Pagan of Boynton Beach, a caretaker of special needs and autistic people. Cuts to state programs have reduced his work to part time, and he has to drive all over the county for jobs.