TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Tampa Bay area added the most private sector jobs out of any Florida metro area in the past year, according to new data from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

FloridaCommerce announced Friday that the Tampa Bay area’s labor force grew by 76,751 over the year in July 2023, up 4.6% from the previous year.

The region saw its biggest gains in healthcare and education services jobs (21,000) and professional and business services jobs (14,300), outpacing other large metros like Miami and Orlando.

Unemployment in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area remained steady at 3.1%, up 0.2% from July 2022. It mirrors the state unemployment rate, which is lower than the national average (3.8%).

Counties outside of the metro are experiencing higher rates of unemployment, according to new data from the Bureau of Workforce Statistics and Economic Research. The following Tampa Bay area counties have unemployment rates above the state average (3.1%):

  • Hardee County – 4.8%
  • Highlands County – 4.7%
  • Citrus County – 4.6%
  • Hernando County – 4.0%
  • Polk County – 3.9%
  • Pasco County – 3.5%
  • Manatee County – 3.2%
  • Sarasota County – 3.2%

Miami-Dade and Monroe counties reported the lowest unemployment rates in the state at 1.9%. Hendry County in southwest Florida has the highest unemployment rate in the state at 6.6%, according to labor data.

The unemployment rates reported by the Bureau of Workforce Statistics and Economic Research are not seasonably adjusted.