Service jobs help latest unemployment report


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Bolstered by increases in service-related jobs, Florida's unemployment rate inched down from 5.2 percent in September to 5.1 percent in October, according to figures released Friday by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

In a news release, Gov. Rick Scott focused on the creation of 36,600 private-sector jobs across the state during the month. Scott called it the "highest month for job growth in 10 years."

The unemployment mark is the lowest for the state since January 2008.

The state rate continues to be similar to the federal trend, which went from 5.1 percent to 5 percent month to month.

October's preliminary figures show an estimated 492,000 jobless Floridians from a workforce of 9.58 million. The jobless total is down 6,000 from September.

The state employment figures came a day after Scott announced that Florida recorded a record 79.1 million tourists in the first nine months of the year, with the tourism industry now accounting for 1.195 million jobs, up 5.2 percent from a year earlier.

Across the state, the lowest unemployment marks were found in Monroe (3.4 percent) and St. Johns (3.6 percent) counties.

The highest rate was in rural Hendry County on the southwest side of Lake Okeechobee, despite an improvement from 11.6 percent in September to 9.4 percent in October.