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Florida unemployment rate drops to 4.9% in March

in Statewide/The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The unemployment rate to continues to be on the decline, with Florida seeing a slight decrease in the number of jobless people in March.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in March, down from 5 percent in February. According to the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity, the national unemployment rate was 5 percent in March.

“We’re working every day to attract fast-growing businesses to Florida and help our local businesses get the resources they need to be a success in our state,” said Cissy Proctor, the executive director of the Department of Economic Opportunity, in a statement Friday. “Florida’s continued economic success is a testament to Governor Scott’s pro-growth policies that enable the private sector to thrive.”

Gov. Rick Scott announced the monthly jobs numbers during a stop at Beneficial Blends in Tampa on Friday morning. The company is the manufacturer, co-packer and distributor of Kelapo coconut oil products. The firm announced it is expanding to a second facility in Tampa and creating 70 new jobs.

Since January, 36,900 new private sector jobs were created statewide. Scott said that since March 2015, businesses across the state created 225,300 new private sector jobs.

“Florida continues to be a leader in job creation, and our annual private-sector job growth rate has exceeded the nation’s for four straight years,” said Scott in a statement. “We have also cut more than $1 billion in taxes over the last two years, and our success is sending a message across the country that Florida is the best state for families to find new opportunities and for businesses to grow.”

Since March 2015, Orlando added 47,000 new private sector jobs. Scott said that was the highest number of new jobs among all of Florida’s metro areas for three straight months. The Orlando area had an unemployment rate of 4.3 percent in March.

In Tampa, the unemployment rate was 4.4 percent in March. The Tampa area added 42,800 jobs since March 2015.

“Not only has the Tampa area added nearly 43,000 jobs over the year, but today we also announced that local manufacturer Beneficial Blends will be expanding and creating 70 new jobs for Tampa families,” said Scott in a statement. “Our work to cut taxes and support economic growth is helping job creators succeed across the state, and we will keep working to make Florida first for jobs.”

The Jacksonville area added 21,300 new private sector jobs since last year. The area’s unemployment rate was 4.4 percent.

“We will continue to work each day to meet our goal of making Florida first for jobs,” said Scott.

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