Employment in the Sixth District improves in February
Payroll employment in the Sixth District improved in February, following several weak months. All states in the district added jobs in February, led by Florida and Georgia, the district's two largest labor markets. Across the nation, 35 states increased payroll employment in February.
In the district's largest labor market, Florida's education and health care sector gained 11,400 jobs in February while construction added 4,400 jobs. Industries that also contributed to the monthly gain in Florida were manufacturing, information services, and other services. A recent SouthPoint post gave a more detailed look at employment in southwest Florida. Accounting for the bulk of February's job gains in Georgia were the trade, transportation, and utilities industries, which added 6,900 jobs, and construction, which added 5,000 jobs. Payroll gains in the other Sixth District states over the month were spread among several industries.
Meanwhile, household survey data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the unemployment rates in the district were little changed in February. The unemployment rate decreased in two district states—Florida and Georgia—and increased in three states—Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Florida's unemployment rate continues to be the highest rate in the district and the third highest in the nation. All Sixth District states except Louisiana have unemployment rates above the national unemployment rate of 8.9 percent.
By Sandra Kollen, a senior economic analyst in the Atlanta Fed's research department
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