Improves .5 percent from January to 8 percent
By Chris Fish
BREVARD -- Brevard's unemployment rate continues to drop, showing a slow economic improvement for the Space Coast, which took a hit after the closure of the shuttle program last year.
For the month of February, Brevard County recorded an unemployment rate of 8 percent, down .5 percent from January, which rose from an 8.3 percent unemployment rate in December 2012, according to Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity.
"February's unemployment was the lowest in Brevard County in more than four years since the rate hit 7.9 percent in November 2008," said Lynda Weatherman, CEO and president of the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast. "This steady and gradual decline in our unemployment is the result of the hard work and foresight of many community stakeholders."
While the county remains higher than the state average of 7.7 percent, which is currently even with the national average, the county's unemployment rate is better than it was this time last year when it recorded a 10 percent unemployment rate.
Currently, Monroe County has the lowest unemployment record in the state with 4.2 percent, which is followed by Walton County at 5.1 percent, the report said.
When comparing Brevard County with Monroe County in terms of population, Monroe has a reported 2010 population of a little more than 73,000 people, while Brevard County has a recorded 2010 population of more than 543,000 people.
Hendry County is reported as having the highest unemployment rate in the state with 10.8 percent, which is followed by Putnam and Flagler counties at 10.3 percent each.
In the nation, Florida is currently ranked at No. 32 for unemployment. Currently, North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate with 3.3 percent. North Dakota is also ranked 48th in the nation in population size.
Nevada, Mississippi and California have the highest unemployment rates in the country with 9.6 percent.
The unemployment rate for Brevard County is the lowest it has been since November 2008, when it was recorded at 7.9 percent.