Manatee's unemployment rate drops to 11.8 percent

MANATEE - Unemployment in Manatee County for December dropped by almost a percentage point from November. from 12.6 percent to 11.8 percent, spurred by holiday hiring and more agricultural workers.

Of Florida's 67 counties, 65 received the good news of lower - albeit temporary - unemployment rates for December. December's rate also was lower than December 2009's rate of 12.6 percent.

The rate translates into 17,100 unemployed workers.

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December was 12 percent, unchanged from November.

Sarasota County showed 11.4 percent unemployment for December, also a drop from November's 12.2 percent.

"Although 12 percent unemployment is too high, a sixth straight month of job gains over the year is a positive sign and with Governor Scott's emphasis on strategies to spark and support job creation, we anticipate continued improvement in our economy," said Agency for Workforce Innovation Director Cynthia Lorenzo.