Jax among several Florida areas to see big drops in unemployment

Published On: Nov 28 2012 02:51:29 PM EST   Updated On: Nov 28 2012 03:38:16 PM EST
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

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, and Jacksonville is among them, according to a U.S. Department of Labor report out Wednesday.

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.