TALLAHASSEE, FLA. -- Florida's unemployment rate dropped again last month, which was a bit surprising because there were fewer jobs to be had.
The Sunshine State has added 52,000 jobs over the past year, but it was a different story in April, when 2,700 jobs disappeared from the labor market.
Despite that reversal, unemployment continues to decline. April's rate was 8.7%, down from 9% in March. That's the lowest unemployment rate in the Sunshine State since January of 2009.
"Florida's unemployment rate has decreased to its lowest point in more than three years, again showing Florida is headed in the right direction," said Dept. of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Hunting Deutsch.
Florida's jobless rate is still higher than the national average of 8.1%, but the gap is getting smaller.
"This continued drop in Florida's unemployment rate is proving our economy is on the path to recovery and Floridians are getting back to work," said Governor Rick Scott.
The biggest gains over the past year have been in business and professional services, a total of 24,400 new jobs. The biggest job losers have been construction (-24,500) and government (-11,800).
Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys, has the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 4.8 %. Flagler County has the highest at 11.6%.