Florida unemployment stays high
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09/18/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday | Listen to this entire show:

Florida’s unemployment rate continues to stay at its highest levels in three decades.

Rebecca Rust is the chief economist with the Agency for Workforce Innovation. She said that all industries in the state remain down in employment, with the exception of private education and health care.

Leading the way in job losses are the professional services, such as employer and temporary worker agencies.

In the Tampa Bay area, the highest level of unemployment remains in Hernando County, which is currently at 13.3 percent. Pasco County is at 12%, while Hillsborough & Pinellas are at 11.1 and 10.9 percent respectively.

Although the job numbers have been dismal for two years, economist Rebecca Rust says this recession isn’t as bad as what Florida was going through in the 1970’s.

Earlier this week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernancke said he believed the recession, previously declared by economists to have begun in December of 2007, “is probably over”, but stressed that it will still feel like a very weak economy for some time to come because people’s job security and employment status is not what they would wish for.

Economist Rebecca Rust tried to put a positive spin on the new statistics, by reciting new national statistics.

The state’s last Economic Estimating Conference was held in July. There, the group predicted that the state’s unemployment rate will continue to peak – up to 11% in the 2nd quarter of next year, before a gradual decrease.

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