Miamidades No 1 Job Growth Ranking Is Recalleddropping To No 4
By Frank Norton
We’re not No. 1 after all.
Revised 2002 figures show Miami-Dade County’s job growth was less than expected, probably ranking it 4th highest in Florida rather than first, the Agency for Workforce Innovation reports.
Earlier estimates from the agency – responsible for employment information, welfare and monitoring labor issues – showed the county closed 2002 leading the state in job growth. That estimate was widely reported and locally hailed.
Heading into 2003, Miami was still thought to lead the state in job growth from a year earlier. But revised data put it 4th for January and February as compared to those months in 2002.
While Workforce Florida agents said they didn’t have revised figures for December 2002, they said subsequent January and February data show Miami-Dade’s reported job numbers were probably erroneous.
"The Orlando, Palm Beach and Tampa Bay regions actually ranked above Miami in terms of job growth for both periods," said Rebecca Rust, process manager of Labor Market Statistics for the Agency for Workforce Innovation.
She said economic flux and revised data-gathering methods contributed to the overestimation of Miami-Dade’s job growth.
"It was a unique period for us in that we had an abrupt change in the economy following Sept. 11 as well as a revision of our statistical methods and industry codes," she said.
The county’s payroll employment actually increased 0.9% in February from February 2002 to 1.02 million, fourth-largest increase among Florida’s major employment centers, according to the agency.
Statewide, employment rose 1.6%, not seasonally adjusted, during the same period.
As for joblessness, the county unemployment rate declined to 7.3% in February from 8% last year, while unemployment statewide increased from 4% to 5.3% for the same period. The US jobless rate was 5.5% in February.