TALLAHASSEE, FLA. -- Florida's unemployment rate dropped from 9.4% in February to 9% in March. That hasn't happened in almost 20 years.
"The largest monthly unemployment rate decline since (Oct) 1992 is a milestone all Floridians can celebrate," said Gov. Rick Scott.
Florida's unemployment rate is still higher than the national average of 8.2%, but the gap is getting smaller. Florida also trails the national average in job growth.
The Sunshine State added 10,800 new jobs last month and a total of 89,900 jobs over the past year. Trade, transportation and utilities have been the biggest gainers, but almost every sector has improved. The biggest job losers were construction and government.
"The numbers released today reaffirm that Florida's employment rate has been heading in the right direction under Governor Scott's leadership," said Dept. of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Hunting Deutsch. "While the decrease in the unemployment rate in Florida is good news for our state, we must be mindful that many of our residents are still looking for work."
There were 836,000 Floridians on the jobless list in March.
Monroe County has the state's lowest unemployment rate at 5.1 percent, followed by Walton and Okaloosa. The highest rate is 12.2 percent in Flagler County, which has been hit hard by cutbacks in construction and wholesale trade.