TALLAHASSEE — State unemployment figures for February showed the unemployment rate in every major area of the Gulf Coast fell significantly compared with February 2011.
The Naples-Marco Island area had the lowest unemployment rate of any area of the Gulf Coast at 8.3% in February. In February 2011, that area's unemployment rate was 10.2%, according to data not seasonally adjusted from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area and the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area were tied for the highest unemployment rate on the Gulf Coast in February at 9.4%. Still, that's a big drop from the 11.2% and 11.4% unemployment rates for those areas, respectively, the same month a year ago.
The unemployment rate fell two percentage points in the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton area to 9.2% in February compared with February 2011. In Punta Gorda, the unemployment rate fell to 9.3% in February from 11.1% the same month a year ago.
Statewide, Florida's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 9.4% in February from 10.8% in February 2011. Industries gaining jobs in the state over the year ending in February were trade, transportation and utilities. Industries losing jobs were in construction, government and information.
The U.S. unemployment rate was 8.3% in February.