December jobless numbers mixed in Northwest Florida

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FILE PHOTO / Northwest Florida Daily News
Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 09:51 AM.

TALLAHASSEE — Florida’s economic recovery continued to outpace the national average in December, although there was some fluctuation in the local numbers.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity released its December employment report Friday. Florida’s statewide unemployment rate decreased to 8 percent, its lowest level since November 2008, and was closing in on the national jobless rate of 7.8 percent.

Click here to see the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity's December unemployment report.

In the past year, Florida’s unemployment rate has dropped 1.9 percent while the national rate has dropped 0.7 percent.

“Florida continues experiencing growth in a number of economic indicators, including increases in housing starts, median home prices, online job ads, job placements and migration into the state,” Rebecca Rust, chief economist for the Department of Economic Opportunity, said in an email. “Florida’s long-term trends show a steady and modest economic recovery. Florida’s unemployment rate has shown significant improvement, declining from the recession high of 11.4 percent to the current 8 percent.”

Okaloosa County’s unemployment rate dropped in December. However, Walton and Santa Rosa counties increased slightly.

Okaloosa’s jobless rate dropped from 5.9 percent in November, 2012, to 5.8 percent last month. It had had the third lowest unemployment rate in Florida for December.

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