Florida's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August 2009 was 10.7 percent, according to a statement released by the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation on September 18, 2009. The August rate was 0.1 percentage point lower than the revised July unemployment rate of 10.8 percent. The August 2009 unemployment rate was 4.2 percentage points higher than the August 2008 rate.
Florida's August unemployment rate was one percentage point higher than the 9.7 percent national unemployment rate, representing the smallest gap between the Florida rate and the national rate since January 2009, when the gap also was one percentage point.
According to the Agency for Workforce Innovation, the counties with the highest unemployment have had seasonal declines in agriculture or continued weakness in construction and manufacturing. The counties with the highest unemployment rates in August were Hendry County (16.4 percent), Flagler County (15.7 percent), Indian River County (15.2 percent), St. Lucie County (14.7 percent), and Lee County (13.5 percent). The counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Liberty County (5.6 percent), Monroe and Walton counties (6.5 percent each), Okaloosa County (6.9 percent), Lafayette County (seven percent), Franklin County (7.1 percent), and Leon and Alachua counties (7.2 percent). The Agency for Workforce Innovation attributes these counties' relatively low unemployment rates to their high percentage of government employees and to summer tourism.