According to a Florida Department of Economic Opportunity employment report issued Tuesday, Florida’s unemployment rate was 9.6 percent in January 2012, down from 9.9 a month earlier. Overall, 38,600 seasonally-adjusted jobs were lost in January 2012.

The report indicates that the largest number of jobs lost were in the construction, trade, transportation and utilities, professional and technical services, education, and health services industries. Over 8,000 government jobs were cut, the majority at the local and state level.

The report (.pdf) adds that 894,000 workers, out of a labor force of almost 9.3 million workers, were unemployed in January. It adds that January’s 2012 jobless rate is the lowest since March 2009 and “the state’s unemployment rate was down 0.3 percentage point from December 2011.”

The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports that “South Florida rates also fell: Broward County dipped to 8.3 percent from 8.5 percent; Palm Beach County to 9.6 percent from 9.8 percent; and Miami-Dade to 9.9 percent from 10.2 percent.”

The loss of 38,600 jobs in Florida is “the largest over-the-month decrease in employment,” in the U.S. according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary issued Tuesday.

According to the Sun Sentinel, ”Florida has been gaining jobs, adding 7,300 in December and 8,500 in November.”

The U.S. economy added 227,000 jobs in February, while the unemployment rate remained at 8.3 percent, according to an employment report issued Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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