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WASHINGTON (CBS4) – While the nation’s unemployment rate dropped in December to 9.3 percent, the overall unemployment picture isn’t improving and it’s especially bad in the Sunshine State where the unemployment rate stands at 11.6 percent.

Initial jobless claims rose last week to the highest level since October. New claims jumped 35,000 to 445,000 for the first week of 2011. Economists had expected around 410,000 filings. The increase was the largest increase over the previous week since July 17.

According to Bloomberg News, the average number of applications over the past four weeks, which is typically a less-volatile gauge, increased to 416,500.

For the still struggling recovery from the Great Recession, the continually weak job market is going to compound problems for state, local, and the federal government as tax revenue continues to drop.

Plus, with so many Americans still out of work, the housing market will remain depressed which will further hinder Florida’s economic recovery.

Still, most major companies aren’t announcing any widespread hiring despite most of the companies turning record profits in 2010.


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