In January 2010, Florida's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate climbed to 11.9 percent. The January unemployment figure is the highest since records were first compiled in 1970, tying the unemployment rate from May 1975. On March 10, 2010, the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation reported that the January rate was two tenths of a percentage point higher than the revised December 2009 unemployment rate of 11.7 percent. The January 2010 unemployment rate was 3.2 percentage points higher than the January 2009 revised rate of 8.7 percent.
Florida's January unemployment rate was 2.2 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate, which remained at 9.7 percent for the second consecutive month. After many years in which Florida's unemployment was well below the national rate, the state began to exceed the national unemployment rate in February 2008. The gap between the Florida and national rates grew steadily throughout 2009 and is now at its highest point since February 2008.
The Florida unemployment rate remains the seventh highest in the nation, after Michigan, Nevada, Rhode Island, South Carolina, California, and the District of Columbia.
The counties with the highest unemployment rates were Flagler County (17.1 percent), Hernando County (15.7 percent), Marion County (15.4 percent), Hardee and St. Lucie counties (14.9 percent each), and Citrus County (14.6 percent). The counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Liberty County (7.5 percent), Monroe County (8.2 percent), Leon County (8.5 percent), and Alachua County (8.7 percent).