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Tampa Bay ranks second in job gains

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

By Michael Moline

The Tampa Bay region posted strong numbers in the latest report by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, released Friday.

The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area recorded 37,700 new jobs, a 3 percent increase compared to the same point last year. Only Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford posted stronger gains, at 4.1 percent.

Of the 701,642 people in Hillsborough County’s labor force, 668,853 held jobs — for an unemployment rate of 4.7 percent. That compares to 5.3 percent at the same point in 2015.

Pinellas County mounted a labor force of 486,766, of whom 464,905 held jobs, for an unemployment rate of 4.5 percent. The jobless rate was 5.1 percent at the same point last year.

Pasco County’s labor force was 219,248 strong, with 207,574 of them holding jobs. That made a jobless rate of 5.3 percent, compared to 6.1 percent in July 2015.

Hernando County’s labor force comprised 67,937 people, of whom 63,692 were employed, for a jobless rate of 6.2 percent. At the same point last year, that rate was 7.2 percent.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at

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