NAPLES — Jobless rates continue to fall in Southwest Florida.
In Collier, the rate dropped to 7.8 percent in November, down from 8.5 percent in October and 9.6 percent a year ago. In Lee, the rate fell to 8.3 percent, down from 8.5 percent in October and 10.5 percent a year ago, according to a report by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity released today.
Statewide, the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent last month, the lowest since November 2008, when it stood at 7.8 percent.
There were 760,000 jobless Floridians out of a labor force of 9,343,000.
In Collier, there were 11,941 residents without jobs in November. There were 23,372 in Lee.
“For many of Florida’s families during this holiday season there could be no greater gift than a regular paycheck,” Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement. “Florida’s economy continues to improve as evidenced by the more than 24,000 Floridians that filled private-sector jobs created in November, for one of the largest (monthly) declines in more than 20 years."
Since he took office, Scott said, more than 200,000 private-sector jobs have been created.
"More people are moving here, more businesses are expanding, our home prices are recovering and more people are pursuing the careers of their dreams," he said. "We have more work to do, but Florida is clearly on the right track for greater job creation.”
Return to naplesnews.com later today for more on this developing story
TALLAHASSEE — Florida's unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest level in four years.
State officials said on Friday that the November rate was 8.1 percent. That's down by 0.4 percentage point from October. And it's the lowest rate since November 2008, when Florida had 7.8 percent jobless rate.
That still left 760,000 Floridians out of work and the state's rate again topped the national figure, which was 7.7 percent for November.
Florida, though, has been steadily closing the gap in recent months. That's been good news for Gov. Rick Scott, who has made job creation the hallmark of his administration.
Scott hailed the jobless report for giving more Floridians a paycheck for the holidays. Polls, though, show the Republican governor's job approval rate still lagging below the 40 percent level.