Just in time for elections, Florida unemployment rate takes a minor dip in September

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The final job report before the November election shows the unemployment rate dropped slightly from the previous month. The jobless rate for September was 6.1 percent, down 0.2 percentage point from August and better than the 6.2 percent of July, according to a Friday news release from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

DEO says there were 12,800 private-sector jobs created in September.

“Today’s announcement that Florida businesses have created nearly 13,000 private sector jobs is great news for Florida Families,” said Gov. Rick Scott. “Florida’s unemployment rate has also dropped from 6.3 percent to 6.1 percent, the lowest it has been since June 2008. Our polices are working in Florida and more-and-more Floridians are able to get a job and support their family. . . “

Scott has based much of his reelection campaign on improved economic conditions. His 2010 campaign was built around a pledge to create 700,000 jobs above normal growth.

The numbers released Friday showed 590,000 people were out of work in Sept., down from 604,000 in August. The Florida labor pool, the number of people employed and those looking for work, increased by 27,000 last month, up 207,000 compared to a year ago. The DEO release said the Florida labor force has grown for 55 consecutive months.

The 6.1 percent Florida unemployment rate compares to a 5.9 percent national unemployment rate.

Monroe County had the state’s lowest rate at 3.7 percent, downed 0.2 percent from August.   Monroe was followed by Walton County at 3.8 percent and Okaloosa at 4.6 percent

Hendry County had the highest unemployment rate at 12 percent followed by Flagler and Hardee counties at 8.4 percent.

You can view DEO statistical reports here. Scroll down to the text documents.