Tampa Bay among big metros with the lowest unemployment levels
Tampa Bay has one of the lowest unemployment rates among large U.S. cities, per a new analysis of Labor Department data.
Why it matters: It signals improvement in the region's recovery from the pandemic, which led to the loss of 1.28 million jobs across Florida between February and April 2020.
The big picture: Nationally, the unemployment rate was 3.5% as of March — down 0.1 percentage point from the previous month, and down 0.1 percentage point year over year.
- Miami, New Orleans and Philadelphia have all seen a particularly noteworthy drop in unemployment, with rates falling by more than a percentage point in each of those cities between February 2022 and February 2023, per the latest data available.
Zoom in: The unemployment rate in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro fell by 0.7 percentage points to 2.5% over that period.
- Florida had three of the nation's lowest rates of unemployment in February for large metro areas: Tampa Bay, Miami and Orlando.
What they're saying: Gov. Ron DeSantis touted Florida's low unemployment rate last month when he announced that the state added nearly 35,000 private-sector jobs in February.
Worth noting: City-level unemployment figures tend to closely track the national trend, with minor deviations driven by the local economic situation.
What we're watching: The Fed is keeping a close eye on employment levels as a measure of the economy's overall temperature.
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