U.S. unemployment falls sharply, Florida lagging in key industries

ORLANDO, Fla. — The national unemployment rate fell sharply in August as more than a million people went back to work, but within those numbers are two troubling trends for Central Florida.

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The August jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the national unemployment rate fell by almost two full percentage points from 10.2 percent in July to 8.4 percent in August.

“That’s better than expected, and definitely encouraging,” UCF Economist Dr. Sean Snaith said.

However, there are some concerns.

So far, less than half of the 22-million jobs lost by the peak of the pandemic have been restored.

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Permanent job losses rose from July to August as the pace of re-hiring slowed, exemplified in Central Florida by the leisure and hospitality industry.

“There’s no doubt about it, tourism is lagging the rest of the economy and likely will as we continue to the end of 2020,” Snaith said.

Of the 1.4 million jobs added in August, 240,000 of them are temporary U.S. census jobs which will cease at the end of September.