TALLAHASSEE, FLA. -- Florida's unemployment rate is still higher than the national average, but the gap is getting smaller.
The state added 5,300 new jobs last month and unemployment fell by a tenth of a point. May's jobless rate of 8.6 percent is two full points lower than a year ago and it's the lowest rate in the Sunshine State since December of 2008.
"It is clear that the work we have done to lower the cost of doing business in our state by cutting taxes and reducing regulation is giving the private sector the confidence it needs to expand, grow and add jobs," said Gov. Rick Scott. "Florida's continued steady decline in unemployment shows that Florida is on the right track."
The US jobless rate is 8.2 percent. That's still lower than the Sunshine State, but its the closest they've been in years.
Monroe County (4.9 percent) has the state's lowest unemployment rate, followed by Walton County (5.3 percent), Okaloosa County (5.9 percent) and Franklin County (6.1 percent).
Flagler and Hendry counties scare the dubious distinction of having the highest unemployment rate (11.7 percent) in Florida, followed by Hernando and St. Lucie counties (10.9 percent) and Indian River County (10.4 percent).
Business and professional services have added the most jobs over the past year in Florida. Trade, transportation and health care sectors are also hiring. But it's been a bad year for construction workers and government employees.
The Tampa Bay, Miami-Dade and Orlando metro areas have added the most jobs in the past year. The biggest job losers were Pensacola, Tallahassee and Gainesville.