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Fla. Unemployment Drops, But Number Not Full Story

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Floridians got an early Christmas present on the state’s unemployment report released Friday. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent in November.

The unemployment rate in November was 0.4 percent less than in October and was the 24th consecutive month of year-over-year declines in Florida’s unemployment rate.

“Florida’s economy continues to improve as evidenced by the more than 24,000 Floridians that filled private-sector jobs created in November, for one of the largest over the month rate declines in more than 20 years,” Governor Rick Scott said in a statement.

Based on an available workforce of 9,343,000 in the state of Florida, an 8.1 percent unemployment rate translated to roughly 760,000 workers looking for a job in November.

Compared to the national numbers, Florida’s unemployment rate was 0.4 percent higher than the national unemployment rate of 7.7 percent. Florida’s unemployment rate has been higher than the national rate since April 2008.

The jobs the biggest gains year-over-year were the leisure and hospitality areas and trade, transportation and utilities. But, out of the six areas that showed the most growth, those two areas paid the lowest annual wages.

Locally, the unemployment rate in Broward County slightly dropped in November to 7.0 percent, down from 7.1 percent in October, but 1.8 percent lower than the same time in 2011.

But, the news wasn’t all good for Broward County. Overall, the workforce shrank by 6,157 workers and a total of 4,301 workers lost their jobs in November.

In Miami-Dade County, the unemployment rate dropped by nearly a full point from 8.9 percent in October to 8.0 percent in November. But again, the devil was in the details of how the unemployment rate in the county dropped.

From October to the end of November, the workforce in Miami-Dade County shrank by 20,009 workers. In addition, a total of 5,825 previously employed workers were no longer in their jobs. Finally, a total of 14,184 disappeared from the unemployment insurance rolls, meaning they may have exhausted benefits.

Monroe County’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.7 percent in November 2012.

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