Job growth continues in South Florida, despite thinned-out payrolls in local government that now serve as the main anchor to a full recovery in hiring for the region.
The February employment report generally brought good news statewide, as a recovery that once seemed at risk of stalling has appeared to regain steam. Broward and Miami-Dade added about 27,000 positions to payrolls, though Miami-Dade is down 5,400 jobs at the local-government level.
But there were two signs of concern in Miami-Dade's report. The first: unemployment is on the rise again, leaping from 9.3 percent in January to 9.7 percent in February, the highest in 12 months. The numbers are seasonally adjusted, and considered a reliable barometer of month-to-month changes in hiring.
Part of the reason behind the spike looks encouraging: Miami-Dade has about 7,000 more job seekers in February than it did in January. That's generally a positive trend, since it shows optimism toward hiring conditions. But the same survey of households found only a tiny uptick in people describing themselves as employed: up less than 1,000 in Miami-Dade.
Statewide, unemployment inched down to 7.7 percent from a revised 7.9 percent in January. Both employment and the labor force grew in Florida. Broward receives only raw unemployment numbers, and its jobless rate went from 6.7 percent to 6.2 percent. That's the lowest since October 2008.
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