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Homebuilding Boosts Florida’s Economy

Florida is adding jobs at a pace well ahead of the nation, and one sector in particular is spurring the surprising rate of job growth—homebuilding.

Florida's unemployment rate fell .2 percentage points in January to 6.1, according to a report from the Wells Fargo Economics Group.

The state’s unemployment level has fallen below the national rate, dropping 1.9 percentage points over the past year, and is currently at its lowest level since June, 2008, according to the group's report.

Although posting gains in the state's all-important leisure and tourism sector, an increase in construction makes a more poignant statement with respect to the state's recovery.

"One big reason Florida's recovery has gained momentum is that construction activity has clearly turned the corner. Homebuilding has picked up across the state, which helped boost construction payrolls at an even faster rate than initially reported," the report said.

Additionally, hiring has picked up in nearly every major metropolitan area. Nonfarm employment rose 2.9 percent over the last year, producing a net gain of 214,400 jobs.

The report comments, "Year-to-year growth in overall nonfarm payrolls has been greater than or equal to the nation’s growth every month since March 2012."

Statewide, the largest gains were in Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, which added 36,400 jobs. Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall area was also strong, adding 30,500 more jobs, and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater posting an additional 29,400 jobs.

About Author: Colin Robins

Colin Robins is the online editor for DSNews.com. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Texas A&M University and a Master of Arts from the University of Texas, Dallas. Additionally, he contributes to the MReport, DS News' sister site.

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