TALLAHASSEE (AP) — More than a million Floridians remained jobless in July as the state's unemployment numbers increased slightly.
Figures released by the Agency for Workforce Innovation showed unemployment increased from 11.4 percent to 11.5 percent. Florida's unemployment rate is higher than the national unemployment rate of 9.5 percent.
The agency said 1,055,000 of roughly 9,214,000 Florida workers were unemployed in July.
The agency's director, Cynthia Lorenzo, said the good news was Florida's annual rate of job creation is growing slightly, at 0.1 percent. The increase of 2,700 jobs is the first annual job growth since 2007.
Rebecca Rust, the agency's chief economist, said continued problems with Florida's real estate market and a reluctance by banks to lend to small businesses are reasons the state has been slow to recover from the recession.
Rust said businesses are also less likely to hire than in previous years.
“Historically, there used to be more of a relationship between profits and jobs,” she said.
Walton County in the Panhandle had the lowest unemployment rate, 7.5 percent. Rust said military and other government jobs boosted the county's economy. Hendry County in south central Florida had the state's highest unemployment rate, 19.7 percent. Rust said Hendry County's unemployment rate was due largely to seasonal agricultural jobs.