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Saturday, Jul 26, 2014
Business News

Unemployment rises in Bay area

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TAMPA - Unemployment in the Tampa-St.Petersburg-Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area crept up to 7.1 percent in June from May's 6.7 percent, but remained well below the 8.8 percent from June 2012.

The Bay area figures, which are not seasonally adjusted, compare with a statewide increase to 7.4 percent in June, up from 7 percent the previous month, the Florida Department of Economic opportunity reported.

When seasonal employment is factored in, Florida's unemployment rate held steady at 7.1 percent in June from the previous month, but the state added 9,300 jobs.

"Florida's June unemployment rate ... will continue to contribute to the long-term trend of decreasing unemployment throughout the state," Gov. Rick Scott said in a news release. U.S. unemployment in June was 7.6 percent, the same as May.

Non-agricultural employment in the Tampa Bay region rose 2.9 percent in June compared with a year ago to 1.9 million, a gain of 33,300 jobs over a year ago as people re-entered the job market.

Trade, transportation and utilities sectors led the gains with 10,000 jobs combined, while the key construction sector gained 2,600 jobs.

Clusters of three and four men seeking day labor construction jobs continued to gather Friday morning in a parking area across from the Home Depot, 6730 Memorial Highway, waiting for contractors to pick them.

"It has been hard to find a job," said Cesar Cordero of Tampa, who was still hopeful at 9:30 a.m. that he would get a day's work.

Contractors have picked up day laborers to fill their needs for more than a year, said Brian Guerard, the Home Depot manager.

Guerard said sales of construction materials were increasing in recent months.

"We have some who shop here to improve and flip houses, and now they also are able to rent some of them," he said.

tjackovics@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7817

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