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Florida unemployment dips but state loses jobs

From the Tampa Bay Times' Jeff Harrington:

Florida posted mixed results on the job front in December, with its unemployment rate dipping slightly to a four-year low of 8 percent, though the number of jobs statewide also dropped, according to state figures released Friday morning.

The state lost 15,300 jobs over the month, down 0.2 percent. Over the past year, the job count is still up 54,900.

The unemployment rate and job count are drawn from different surveys of households and businesses and aren't always in sync.

Florida's unemployment rate has fallen dramatically, down from 9.9 percent a year ago and a peak of 11.4 percent in early 2010 in the wake of the Great Recession.

Gov. Rick Scott, who was in Miami for an event, cited the improvement in jobs as an indication "the changes we are making to improve our state's business climate are helping Florida families pursue the American dream."

"Trends show that we are also experiencing growth in many different economic indicators that are key to job creation," he said in a prepared statement. "Housing starts are on the rise, businesses and families continue to move to Florida and more jobs are being created."

Read more here.