Central Florida's unemployment rate hit a milestone in April it hadn't hit in 13 years.
The region had an unemployment rate of 2.7% last month, the first time the area's rate went below 3% since April 2006 when the rate was 2.8%, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. That rate was down 0.5 percentage points year-to-year and down from 3.1% in March.
The rate was lower than both the U.S. (3.8%) and Florida (3.5%) unemployment rates for the month. (Click through the slideshow above for a look at the top 10 cities for creating business service jobs.)
Here's the unemployment rate by county:
- Orange and Seminole: 2.6%
- Osceola and Lake: 2.9%
- Sumter: 4.4%
Monroe County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate (2%), followed by St. Johns and Okaloosa counties (2.4%); and Orange, Seminole, Alachua, Collier, Lafayette, Wakulla and Walton counties (2.6%).
Metro Orlando led the state again in March with a year-over-year gain of 44,600 jobs. Metro Miami was No. 2 with 27,800 jobs gained, and Metro Tampa fell to No. 3 with 24,700 jobs added.
Twenty-two out of 24 metro areas in Florida had year-over-year job gains for February. Panama City was the only area to lose jobs year-over-year.
Meanwhile, the Orlando area had the highest annual job growth compared to all state metros in:
- Professional and business services, up 15,300 jobs
- Leisure and hospitality, up 8,700 jobs
- Mining, logging, and construction, up 4,700 jobs
- Manufacturing, up 3,100 jobs
The metro had the second-highest annual job growth compared to all Florida metro areas in:
- Education and health services, up 5,900 jobs
- Government, up 1,900 jobs
- Information, up 100 jobs
Other local industries adding jobs were:
- Trade, transportation and utilities services, up 2,300 jobs
- Financial activities, up 1,300 jobs
- Other services, up 1,300 jobs
Meanwhile, this local industry shed jobs in March:
- Retail trade, down 900 jobs