Florida jobless rate falls to 6 percent

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The number of total jobs in Florida rose by 34,400 last month, and the unemployment rate fell 0.1 percent from September to 6 percent, according to figures released Friday by the Department of Economic Opportunity. 

The October rate is the lowest Florida has posted in more than six years and matches the rate of June 2008.

The number of jobs in Florida in October was counted at  7,857,300, up more than 200,000 from a year ago and represents the 51st consecutive month of job growth. The industry gaining the most jobs was trade, transportation and utilities, a sector that saw a 3.2 percent increase or 50,000 new jobs.

“Today’s announcement that Florida has added 32,000 private-sector jobs is great news as we continue our work to ensure that every Floridian who wants a job can get one,” said Gov. Rick Scott in a prepared statement. Scott has won two gubernatorial campaigns with an economic program focused on creating private sector jobs.

“Since December 2010, Florida has added 679,000 private-sector jobs, and it is clear that we are succeeding in creation an opportunity economy that supports families,” said Scott.

The professional and business services sector saw the second largest increase in jobs in October; producing an additional 41,800 jobs, a 3.7 percent increase. Construction grew by 10. 2 percent – an increase of 38,000 positions.

Monroe County had the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 3.6 percent, followed by Walton at 3.9 percent and Okaloosa at 4.5 percent.

Hendry County had the highest unemployment rate at 10.5 percent, followed by Flagler at 8.2 percent and Madison at 7.8 percent.

The Florida jobless rate of 6 percent compares to a 5.8 percent rate for the U.S. as a whole.