Florida’s unemployment rate drops to 5-year low at 7.1 percent

The unemployment rate in the Sunshine State is down to 7.1 percent, its lowest in almost five years, Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday.

The rate for May was 0.1 percent lower than April’s 7.2 percent rate and below the national average of 7.6 percent, according to a release from the governor’s office.

menatwork“Each month we continue to distance ourselves from the national unemployment rate and it is clear we are succeeding in growing opportunities for Florida families to pursue the American Dream,” Scott said in a news release.

“Once again, Florida’s unemployment rate is well below the national average.  While Florida communities have experienced some incredible successes, we’ll continue working tirelessly to provide jobs to families across the Sunshine State.”

Since December 2010, the month before Scott took office, Florida’s unemployment rate has dropped four percentage points, from 11.1 percent. The state’s jobless rates now dropped year-over-year for 31 consecutive months, the release stated.

Meanwhile, the state’s real estate market, badly damaged in the recession that began in 2008, continues to improve, the release stated.

Citing information from the Florida Association of Realtors, it said the number of single-family homes on the market is down by 24 percent from May 2012.

Sales were up by 30.8 percent over May 2012, and median sale prices were up by 15.9 percent, the release stated.

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