While Gov. Rick Scott was trumpeting the fact that Florida's overall unemployment rate was lower than the national average for the first time in five years, the picture is considerably bleaker here in Miami-Dade. According to local numbers released today, the county's unemployment rate is the highest its been in 12 months.
Miami-Dade's unemployment rate jumped to 9.7 in February from 9.3 in January, a significant 0.4 percent jump. That's also a full two points higher than Florida's overall rate of 7.7 percent. Those numbers are seasonally adjusted, too.
Part of the reason for the rise was that 7,000 more people said they were looking for jobs in February than in January, but only 1,000 new jobs were actually added during the month. However, as the Miami Herald points out, a rise in the number of people looking for jobs could be considered a positive uptick in general optimism about the economy.
Meanwhile across the border in Broward County, the story is better. That county's unemployment rate fell to 6.2 percent from 6.7 percent in January. That number is also down 1.6 percent from February of last year.