Florida's jobless rate falls, numbers improve for Southwest Florida

CREATED Jan. 24, 2014

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CAPE CORAL, Fla.- Florida's unemployment rate is dropping again. 
   
The state's unemployment rate for December was 6.2 percent. It was 6.4 percent the previous month. That's the lowest the rate has been since June 2008.

The decline in jobless across Southwest Florida was even stronger.  Collier County saw its December numbers fall to 5.4 percent from 5.8 percent in November.  Lee County saw an even bigger decrease from 5.8 percent in December from 6.3 percent in November.
   
The national unemployment rate is 6.7 percent. The state's jobless rate has remained lower than the national average for nine straight months.
   
There were an estimated 584,000 people who remain out of work in the Sunshine State. The state added slightly more than 14,000 jobs last month.
   
Scott has contended the state's unemployment rate is dropping due to his policies, including his push to cut taxes and eliminate regulations.
   
But state economists have said a big reason for the decline is that people are leaving the labor force or had delayed their job search.

Below is a county by county breakdown for Southwest Florida

                                  December 2013       November 2013

Charlotte County             5.8%                       6.3%

Collier County                 5.4%                       5.8%

DeSoto County                6.4%                       7.3%

Glades County                 7.4%                      7.8%

Hendry County                10.2%                    11.3%

Lee County                      5.8%                      6.3%