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State's Unemployment Rate Stands At 5-Percent

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) - Florida ended 2015 with an unemployment rate of five percent.

The December number was down from a revised 5.1 percent in November, according to figures released Friday by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The state had initially listed the November mark at 5 percent, which is where the national figure has been for two consecutive months.

Gov. Rick Scot said in a statement that the Miami area gained 18,000 new private sector jobs in December compared to a year ago. The area's unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percentage point over the year to 5.8 percent in December.

The Fort Lauderdale area gained 24,400 private sector jobs over the year in December. The Fort Lauderdale area's unemployment rate declined by 0.7 percentage point over the year to 4.3 percent in December.

Florida's preliminary December numbers indicate an estimated 487,000 Floridians were out of work from a seasonally adjusted labor force of 9.67 million. A year ago, when the state's unemployment mark was at 5.7 percent, there were 67,000 more people out of work.

Across the state, the lowest unemployment marks were found in Monroe County and St. Johns County. The highest rate continues to be held by rural Hendry County on the southwest side of Lake Okeechobee, where the rate fell from 8.3 percent in November to 7.3 percent in December. The next highest jobless marks were found in Citrus County, Putnam County, Sumter County and Highlands County.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

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