Data recently released by Miami-Dade County’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade show confirms the county’s unemployment rate increased to 13.4 percent in May after seasonal adjustment, up from 13.1 percent in April and up from 12.1 percent a year earlier. 

The May unemployment rate matches the all-time high set in December 2010 and continues to rise despite increases in the number of employed residents that began at the end of 2009, according to a statement from the county.

An additional 2,900 residents found jobs in May, after adjusting for normal seasonal fluctuations, which was well above the 2,200 average monthly increase observed over the past 12 months.

However, the unemployment rate increased significantly on the strength of increases in the labor force. The difference between labor force growth and employment growth resulted in an additional 5,900 people being unemployed, the statement said.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the county’s total non-agricultural employment declined in May for the first time since last December.  Payroll employment registered at 987,500 jobs after adjusting for usual seasonal variations.

This is a 0.4 percent decrease from April but still a 0.6 percent increase over May of last year.

Every major industry lost employment from April, except employment in wholesale trade, which was up 1.4 percent from April and 0.4 percent from May 2010, and education and health services up by 0.9 percent from April and up 1.3 percent from last year. 

Several industries showed job declines of more than one percent from April, after adjusting for normal variations.  These include construction (- 2.1 percent), retail trade (-1.1 percent), leisure and hospitality (-1.2 percent) other services (-1.5 percent) and total government (-1 percent). 

Although employment growth has been very weak compared to previous job recoveries, the employment gains in the county have been relatively strong compared to job growths in Broward and Palm Beach counties and the rest of the state.
Nationally, the unemployment rate inched up slightly from nine percent in April to 9.1 percent in May.  One year ago, the national rate stood at 9.6 percent.

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