Florida's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 12.3 percent in March 2010, which is the highest rate since state unemployment data began being compiled in 1970, according to a report released on April 16, 2010, by the Agency for Workforce Innovation. The Florida unemployment rate is now 2.6 percentage points higher than the national rate of 9.7 percent.

The March 2010 rate is 0.1 percentage points higher than the previous month's rate and is 2.7 percentage points higher than the March 2009 rate of 9.6 percent.

In March, the Florida unemployment rate was fifth-highest in the country, after Michigan (14.1 percent), Nevada (13.4 percent), and California and Rhode Island (12.6 percent each).

The counties with the highest unemployment rates were Flagler County (16.6 percent), Hernando County (15.1 percent), Marion County (15.0 percent), St. Lucie County (14.6 percent), and Hendry County (14.1 percent). The counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Liberty County (7.3 percent), Monroe County (7.7 percent), Leon County (8.2 percent), and Alachua County (8.4 percent).

In its February 2010 unemployment report, the Agency for Workforce Innovation noted one positive sign: For the first time since November 2007, the state had experienced positive month-over-month job growth. In March 2010, however, the state returned to its recent pattern, with a net job loss of 4,000 jobs.