Preliminary unemployment rate for March 2004 for the Sarasota/Bradenton Metropolitan Statistical Area: 3.1 percent

Highest and lowest preliminary unemployment rates for Florida MSAs: Miami, 6.4 percent; Gainesville, 2.4 percent

Number of employees in 2003 in the Sarasota/Bradenton service industry: 245,300

Number of employees in 2003 in the information technology sector: 4,300 employees

Number of employees in 2003 in the leisure and hospitality industry: 28,600

Average wage in Sarasota County in 2002: $29,250

2002 average wage was in the best-paid sector, finance and insurance: $55,917

2002 average wage was in lowest sector, accommodation and food service: $14,523.

Percentage drop in wages from 2001 to 2002 in the sector that decreased most, "management of companies and enterprises": 37 percent or $20,418

Percentage wages grew from 2001 to 2002 was in the sector that increased most, "educational": 19 percent or $6,938

Number of local government employees in Sarasota County: 10,187

Number by which they'll increase by 2011: 238

Number of local government employees in Manatee County: 10,272

Number by which they'll increase by 2011: 229

Number of jobs projected to be added in Sarasota County by 2011: 3,916; in Manatee County, 4,027

Number of Sarasota County jobs projected to be added by 2011 in the service industry, which shows the largest increase: 2,034; in Manatee County, 2,999

Number of jobs to be added in health services, the service sector with the most projected growth by 2011 in Sarasota County: 696; in Manatee County, 295

Number of Manatee County jobs by 2011 in the business services industry, where the highest growth is projected: 2,414

Sources: Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation in coordination with the United States Department of Labor.

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