Reporting Tim Kephart
Legislative Session Coverage
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CBSMiami) – Florida unemployment rate saw its biggest one month drop since October 1992 in March. The unemployment rate statewide dropped 0.4 percent to just 9 percent in March 2012.
The March unemployment rate was 1.7 percent lower than last year, but it still lagged far behind the national unemployment rate of 8.2 percent through March. The difficulty of celebrating the unemployment rate drop is its unknown how many people just lost their benefits or how many people just left the workforce.
Based on numbers from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the Florida unemployment rate is mirroring the job growth nationally.
Politically, it poses a tough question for Republicans targeting President Barack Obama on his jobs record. If jobs have grown in the states and the unemployment rate has dropped over the last three years, it undercuts Mitt Romney’s primary argument against President Obama.
But governors want to tout their success on the jobs front, which means Republican governors will have to pitch the job growth as completely separate from the national numbers, even if they mirror them exactly.
Locally, Broward County saw its unemployment rate continue to fall in March. Broward County ended March with a 7.5 percent unemployment rate, down 0.4 percent from February and down 1.6 percent from last year.
Based on Broward’s numbers, there are 73,961 workers looking for work in the county.
In Miami-Dade County, the unemployment rate continued tumbling to 9 percent in March. The unemployment rate in Miami-Dade dropped 0.7 percent from February and was nearly three percent less than it was in March 2011.
Monroe County was nearing ideal unemployment rates in March. Monroe had an unemployment rate of 5.1 percent in March, which was a drop of 0.3 percent from February. The jobless numbers have dropped more than one percent from March 2011.