State unemployment hits lowest mark since 2008

Rate was up in Miami-Dade, down in Broward

Published On: Nov 16 2012 10:39:20 AM EST   Updated On: Nov 16 2012 10:40:34 AM EST
TALLAHASSEE, Fla -

Florida labor officials say the state's unemployment dropped to its lowest mark in nearly four years in October with 8.5 percent of the workforce still hunting for jobs.

Although the figure is an improvement from September's 8.7 percent unemployment in Florida, it remains six-tenths of a percentage point higher than the national average of 7.9 percent. It is Florida's first unemployment figures since President Barack Obama was re-elected last week.

Unemployment and job creation were a major part of the debate between Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, who has promised to create 12 million new jobs if elected. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has been quick to boast of improvements in the state's unemployment numbers to the chagrin of Republicans anxious to blame Obama for high unemployment.

The jobless number was 8.9 percent in Miami-Dade County in October. That was up a tick from 8.8 percent in September.

The jobs numbers are better in Broward. In September, the rate was 7.6 percent. In October, that number dropped to 7.1 percent.