The Orlando area added nearly 16,000 new private-sector jobs in May, which Gov. Rick Scott announced helped give Orlando the highest job creation in the state for the 38th consecutive month, officials announced Friday.

According to data and reports compiled by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and released by the governor’s office Orlando’s unemployment rate in May dropped to 3.0 percent, down from 3.1 pecent in April, and down from 3.7 percent in May 2017.

In May the Orlando jobs total went up 15,699, to 1,298,733 people employed in the Sanford-Orlando-Kissimmee Metropolitican Stistical Area, which includes Orange, Seminole, Lake, and Osceola counties. Second was the Jackonville MSA, where employment grew by 12,005 in May, according to the department’s data.

The industries with the highest growth over the year in the Orlando area were professional and business services with 11,000 new jobs, and leisure and hospitality with 10,800 new jobs, according to the Department of Economic Opportunity.

In May, the Orlando area was once again second among state metro areas in job demand with 37,958 job openings. Orlando also remained the second-highest metro area in demand for high-skill, high-wage STEM occupations with 11,288 openings, the report indicated.

As of May, Florida’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent, a drop of 7.0 percentage points since December 2010.

“Florida’s growing economy is producing real results for families across our state. Every month, private-sector businesses are adding jobs, dropping our unemployment, making it easier for every Floridian to find great work,” Scott stated in a news release. “When I became governor, I set out to create an environment where our private sector could flourish – and that remains my focus as we continue to outpace the nation. It’s clear – cutting taxes and investing in what matters to families works, and the rest of the country should take notice.”

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