MIAMI (CBSMiami) – For Florida’s workers, the year 2012 ended on a high note, according to the state’s unemployment report released Friday. Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 8.0 percent in December.
The unemployment rate in December was 0.1 percent less than in November and was the 25th consecutive month of year-over-year declines in Florida’s unemployment rate. However, the drop in unemployed was not as great as the 0.4 percent decline in November. That’s likely because retailers hired temporary workers for the busy holiday season.
“Florida’s unemployment rate is down to eight percent, its lowest in four years,” Governor Rick Scott said in a statement.
“Housing stats are on the rise and businesses and families continue to move to Florida,” Scott added.
Based on an available workforce of 9,343,000 in the state of Florida, an 8.1 percent unemployment rate translated to roughly 747,000 workers looking for a job in December.
Of course, the 8.0 percent rate doesn’t take into account the number of workers who have stopped looking for work or have exhausted their unemployment benefits. Because those workers no longer report to unemployment agencies, they are not counted as unemployed.
Compared to the national numbers, Florida’s unemployment rate was 0.2 percent higher than the national unemployment rate of 7.8 percent. Florida’s unemployment rate has been higher than the national rate since April 2008.
Locally, the unemployment rate in Broward County slightly dropped in December to 6.7 percent, down from 7.0 percent in November, but 1.8 percent lower than the same time in 2011.
In Miami-Dade County, the unemployment rate rose by more than a full point, from 8.0 percent in November to 9.1 percent in December. This reversed the progress made between October and November, when unemployment dropped by nearly 1 percent.
Monroe County’s unemployment rate dropped 0.2 percent, from 4.7 percent in November to 4.5 percent in December.