Florida’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in February, a slight increase from January, but a 0.4 percent decrease from the same time last year, according to a report from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity released last week. 

This puts Florida slightly better than the overall United States’ February unemployment rate of 3.8 percent. 

Osceola County shared the state average of 3.5 percent along with Lake County. Orange and Seminole counties came in lower at 3.1 percent. 

There were 357,000 jobless Floridians out of the labor force last month, but the report noted state gains in nonagricultural employment that added 25,200 jobs over the month.    

The industries gaining the most jobs were professional and business services, education and health services.

The metro area of Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford saw the greatest over-the-year job gains in Florida with a 3.9 percent bump. It was followed by Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall at 2.2 percent and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater at 1.9 percent. 

The report notes that unemployment and job growth rates are estimates, and primarily based on surveys created and mandated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in cooperation with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Visit www.floridajobs.org for more information. 

The next Florida Employment and unemployment release is April 19.

New U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data reveal that although unemployment rates are low, the Kissimmee-Orlando-Sanford metro area’s median wage also remains low, at $33,150 a year, or $15.94 an hour. The data also shows that one in every four jobs here pays less than $23,050.

Three of the top four industries in the area – food preparation and service, sales, and transportation – accounted for nearly a third of the more than 1.25 million jobs in the Kissimmee metro area.