Florida unemployment hits record high 12.2 percent, worse in Tampa Bay listen03/26/10 Seán Kinane
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Florida’s unemployment rate is the highest it’s ever been. The Agency for Workforce Innovation’s chief economist Rebecca Rust announced today the state’s unemployment rate was 12.2 percent in February.
Rust says this unemployment rate breaks the record for the highest since 1970 when records began being kept.
Unemployment is even higher in the Tampa Bay area. It’s 12.6 percent in Pinellas County and 12.7 percent in Hillsborough. The county with the second-highest unemployment rate in the state is Hernando at 15.6 percent.
Several Democrats running for higher office took the opportunity of today’s unemployment figures to say they would be able to do a better job than the current Republican leadership. U.S. Representative Kendrick Meek, who is running for U.S. Senate wrote, “The status quo is not working for Floridians.” Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who is running for Governor, suggested the state’s economy would improve under her “business plan for Florida.”
The Agency for Workforce Innovation’s Rust says the statewide unemployment rate jumps to over 20 percent when people who are underemployed are taken in to account.
Florida’s lowest unemployment rate, 3.3 percent, was only four years ago, from February to May of 2006.