TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

State labor officials are hoping December's unemployment figures will reflect some seasonal employment that leads to more improvement in the state jobs market.

The numbers are to be announced Friday by the Department of Economic Opportunity.

Florida's 8.1 percent unemployment rate in November was its lowest level since it stood at 7.8 percent in November 2008. The state's unemployment rate fell below 10 percent for the first time in nearly three years in December 2011 and has continued to slowly improve, although 760,000 workers remain jobless.

Improving home sales, rising home values and a resilient stock market have contributed to an improving consumer confidence in Florida in recent months.

Florida's November rate was the 16th highest among the 50 states and District of Columbia, and higher than the national figure.