TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A new monthly report from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity shows job growth in the Tampa area as the state returns to normal post-pandemic.

In April 2020, as COVID-19 closed businesses and kept people indoors, the unemployment rate rose to 13.9% in Tampa Bay. A year later, the area’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.3%, with private sector employment increasing by 142,300 jobs according to the report. The growing workforce has continued for a year.

“Today, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced the statewide number of private-sector jobs increased by 18,800 over the month, resulting in 12 consecutive months of job growth,” the DEO said in a statement.

Across the state, Florida’s workforce grew by 73,000 in April, bringing the state labor force total to 10,243,000 and a statewide unemployment rate of 4.8%. In March, the state unemployment rate was 4.7%.

While the state’s unemployment rate rose slightly, according to DEO, it still sits lower than the national unemployment average of 6.1%.

The state report shows that the largest job gains in Florida’s metro areas happened in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area, with an 11.2% increase for nonagricultural jobs.

You can see the latest data online on Floridajobs.org, a Florida Bureau of Workforce Statistics and Economic Research website.

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