Florida's unemployment rate slightly better

05/22/09 Mitch E. Perry
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Florida's unemployment rate dropped to 9.6% last month. That's the first drop in 3 years. April's figures were down two-tenths of a percent from March’s revised figure of 9.8%, but it’s still 4 points higher than at this time of a year ago.

Rebecca Rust, chief economist with the Agency for Workforce Innovation, says the state’s unemployment rate has ‘stabilized’. But she said it was far too early to predict that it’s going to turn around.

Although the recession officially began in the U.S. in December of 2007, this is the first month where the unemployment rate has not worsened since March of 2006.

According to Rebecca Rust, nearly all major sectors of the economy continued to lose jobs last month.

The only industry that is doing well, Rust said, are private education and health services. 17,000 jobs in nursing and residential car facilities being added to payrolls last month. Rust was still cautious in discussing that part of the economy.

Earlier this year, Rust said that indications were that Florida’s unemployment would continue to rise above 10% early next year.

Rust also said that every month, the state revises its data based on more accurate information so it's possible the improvement could disappear.

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