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Polk’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 12.6 Percent

Polk County’s unemployment rate dipped to 12.5 percent in October, down from 12.6 percent the year before and 13.3 percent in September, according to the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation.

Florida’s jobless rate was at 11.9 percent last month, rising from 11.4 percent the year prior and unchanged from September.

The state had more than 35,000 additional jobs than it did a year ago for a gain of 0.5 percent, but Florida’s population of job hunters and displaced workers also increased. The 0.5 percent gain in jobs was Florida’s strongest annual increase since May 2007, according to the workforce agency.

“While Florida’s unemployment rate did not decrease this month, we continue to see positive

signs of stabilization and growth,” said Cynthia R. Lorenzo, agency director, in a prepared statement.

“In addition to showing improved over-the-year job creation, Florida posted the largest decrease in the country last week in the number of people who filed for first-time unemployment benefits. Combined with increasing numbers of job postings online, this is encouraging news for our job seekers and our economy.”