MANATEE -- The unemployment rate in Manatee County stayed steady at 7.7 percent in January, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
That was the same rate as in December, and down from 9.4 percent in January 2012.
In Sarasota County, the unemployment rate in January was at 8.2 percent, up half a percentage point from 7.7 percent in December. In January 2012, the unemployment rate was 9.4 percent.
Statewide, the unemployment rate was a seasonally adjusted 7.8 percent, the lowest it's been in almost four years.
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The county figures were not seasonally adjusted, according to the state.
Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who has staked his political future on creating jobs, was quick to applaud the report.
"Everything we do is geared toward job creation," Scott said in a news release from his office. "Today we have more proof that it's working."
The press release capitalized the "it's working" in the statement, a central theme of the governor's State of the State speech earlier this month.
Florida is among 32 states that experienced statistically significant positive changes in their employment in the past year. Texas led the way with 310,000 new jobs, followed by California with 254,900 and Florida third at 127,500, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Florida's January rate was down slightly from December's revised rate of 7.9 percent. DEO noted that 740,000 Floridians remained jobless.
In Manatee, 10,768 people were recorded as being jobless in January, down from 10,971 the month before.
However, there were 2,205 fewer Manatee residents with jobs, according to the state.