Jobless rates in Collier and Lee counties, as well as Florida, improve in September

Jobless rates in Lee and Collier counties shrank in September.

Collier had an unemployment rate of 11.4 percent, down from 11.9 percent in August and 13 percent a year ago, according to a report by the state's Department of Economic Opportunity.

Meanwhile, Lee's unemployment rate fell to 11.2 percent last month, down from 11.5 percent in August and 13.2 percent a year ago.

There were 15,958 workers without jobs in Collier in September. In Lee, there were 30,858.

Florida's unemployment rate for September was 10.6 percent, down from 11 percent in August. Statewide, 23,300 jobs were added last month.

The state's job growth rate for the last 12 months of 1.3 percent has outpaced the nation's for the first time since 2007, the Department of Economic Opportunity reported.

"Today's numbers are a strong signal that Florida is doing the right things to rebound from difficult economic times. But our job is far from over with 977,000 residents unemployed," said Doug Darling, the executive director of the Department of Economic Opportunity, in a statement.

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