Florida unemployment rate falls to 6.2%

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Florida's unemployment rate for December was 6.2 percent -- the lowest the rate has been since June 2008. The state's rate is down 0.2 points from the previous month and 0.7 percent from one year ago.

The national unemployment rate is 6.7 percent. The state's jobless rate has remained lower than the national average for nine straight months.

The jobless rate in most northeast Florida counties is below the state average, with the rate in St. Johns County and Alachua counties now below 5 percent.  Flagler and Putnam counties still have among the five highest unemployment rates in the state -- 8.8 and 8.1 percent, respectively. (Find county-by-county numbers at bottom of this article.)

There were an estimated 584,000 people who remain out of work in the Sunshine State. Florida added 13,500 private sector jobs in December 2013.

"With 462,100 new private sector jobs created since December 2010, opportunities continue to increase for Florida families and it's clear that our economic policies are working," Scott said.

Scott has contended the state's unemployment rate is dropping due to his policies, including his push to cut taxes and eliminate regulations. But state economists have said a big reason for the decline is that people are leaving the labor force or had delayed their job search.

December 2013November 2013 December 2012  
Alachua County 4.7%4.8%5.9%
Baker County5.6%5.7%6.8%
Bradford County5.1%5.3%6.5%
Clay County5.3%5.6%6.8%
Columbia County5.8%6.2%7.4%
Duval County5.9%6.2%7.8%
Flagler County8.8%9.2%10.8
Nassau County5.2%5.5%7.1%
Putnam County8.1%8.5%10.6%
St. Johns County   4.7%4.9%6.2%
Union County5.5%5.8%6.6%

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