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Tampa region leads state in demand for STEM jobs

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Looking for a STEM job? Tampa Bay might just be the place to be.

The region added more than 39,000 private sector jobs over the year, and leads the state when it comes to high-skill, high-wage STEM jobs. According to the governor’s office, there were 15,727 openings in STEM fields in August.

“I am proud to announce today that the Tampa area added 39,500 new jobs over the year and also led the entire state in job demand with nearly 50,000 job openings,” said Gov. Rick Scott in a statement Friday. “Because of our focus on creating a business-friendly environment, more job creators are choosing to invest in Florida, which means more opportunities for our families.”

Scott announced the monthly jobs numbers during a stop at All Access Multimedia, a Fort Myers marketing and production company that specializes in commercials, infomercials, and web videos.

The state added 22,600 private-sector jobs in August, bringing the total number of jobs created in 2016 to 167,100. The unemployment rate remains at 4.7 percent, one of the lowest rates since November 2007, according to the governor’s office.

“This is a great month,” said Scott, who noted the state has added nearly 1.2 million private sector jobs since he took office.

According to the Department of Economic Opportunity, 23 out of the 24 metro areas saw year-over-year jobs gains. In the Tampa region, professional and business services was one of the top industries over the year. The industry added 13,200 jobs, followed by the transportation and utilities industry with 7,900 new jobs.

The Tampa area also continues to be one of the metro regions with the most demand, with a reported 49,542 job openings in August.

The largest gains once again occurred in the Orlando area, where the state jobs agency reported 48,300 private sector job were added over the year. The unemployment rate in the Orlando area was at 4.4 percent, a 0.7 percentage point drop from August 2015. The Orlando area saw gains in the leisure and hospitality industry, adding 13,600 jobs over the year. Construction came in second with 10,200 new jobs, followed by education and health services with 8,400 new jobs.

Monroe County had the lowest unemployment rate in August at 3.1 percent; while Hendry County had the highest unemployment rate at 11.6 percent.

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