Several Florida areas see big drop in unemployment

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Nearly half of the metro areas in the United States that saw their unemployment rate drop by more than 2 percentage points over the last year are in Florida, according to a U.S. Department of Labor report out Wednesday via the News Service of Florida.

Unemployment rates were lower in October than a year earlier in 329 of the 372 metropolitan areas in the nation, higher in 37 areas, and unchanged in 6 areas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Of the 29 metro areas with more than 2 percentage point drops, 13 were in Florida, led by the Ocala area, which saw a drop of 2.8 percentage points to 9.1 percent. That gave Ocala the third best year in the country in terms of putting people back to work, following Pascagoula, Miss. and Elkhart, Ind.

Other Florida areas where unemployment dropped at least 2 percentage points were: Cape Coral-Fort Myers; Daytona Beach; Jacksonville; Lakeland-Winter Haven; Bradenton-Sarasota; Orlando-Kissimmee; Palm Bay-Melbourne; Palm Coast; Port St. Lucie; Punta Gorda; Sebastian-Vero Beach; and Tampa-St. Pete. The state as a whole saw its preliminary October unemployment drop from 10.2 percent last year to 8.2 percent.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.