Governor Rick Scott announced today that the Southwest Florida area added 8,500 private-sector jobs in 2016. The Fort Myers area added 5,600 new private-sector jobs and the area’s December unemployment rate was 4.3 percent. The Naples area added 2,900 new private-sector jobs and the area’s December unemployment rate was 4.5 percent. Florida businesses created 237,300 private-sector jobs across the state during 2016, bringing the total number of jobs created since December 2010 to 1,262,100 jobs.
Governor Scott said, “Southwest Florida created 8,500 new jobs last year, which is great news for families. We will continue to work to cut taxes, diversify the economy and encourage job growth throughout the state.”
The industries with the largest job gains in Fort Myers over the year were leisure and hospitality with 1,500 new jobs, professional and business services with 1,100 new jobs and education and health services with 1,000 new jobs. In December, the Fort Myers area had 7,197 job openings, including 1,120 high-skill, high-wage STEM occupations. The industry with the most job growth in Naples over the year was construction with 1,100 new jobs. In December, the Naples area had 4,032 job openings, including 703 high-skill, high-wage STEM occupations.
Florida’s statewide unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in December and for the 57th consecutive month, Florida’s annual job growth rate of 3.3 percent is exceeding the nation’s rate of 1.6 percent. More than 30,084 Floridians, including 1,444 veterans, were placed in jobs by CareerSource Southwest Florida and the state’s other 23 regional workforce boards.
To view the December 2016 employment data visit www.floridajobs.org/labor-market-information/labor-market-information-press-releases/monthly-press-releases.