South Florida jobs numbers show better trend than state averages

While Florida’s February jobs numbers were a partial mixed-bag, the trends were brighter in three of South Florida’s major cities.

The state as a whole added jobs in February, but the unemployment rate ticked up slightly, from 3.4 percent in January to 3.5 percent in February.

But in the Fort Lauderdale, Miami and West Palm Beach areas, the unemployment rate was down month-over-month, and sometimes significantly. That, combined with an increase in hiring in all three cities shows the jobs market in the southeast outpacing the rest of the state.

The Fort Lauderdale area saw its unemployment rate drop from 3.8 percent in January to 3.3 percent in February. The rate dropped 0.3 percentage points year-over-year. Overall, Fort Lauderdale has added 15,800 new private-sector jobs in the past year.

In terms of industry year-over-year numbers for Fort Lauderdale, professional and business services saw the largest growth with 6,700 new jobs.

Fort Lauderdale also showed strong demand for online jobs as well as high-skill, high-wage STEM occupations.

The area remained among the top four metro areas in the state in online job demand with 31,507 openings in February. That’s up from 27,862 openings last month. As for STEM jobs, February saw 7,939 job

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