The Orlando region continued in February as the state’s leading job-producing metropolitan area and saw the region’s unemployment rate fall to 4.4 percent, the office of Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday.

Numbers released by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity show that Orlando’s metro area added 30,000 workers and 40,000 jobs since February 2015, and the result dropped the unemployment rate from 5.3 percent to 4.4 percent last month.

The state’s unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in February, the lowest in eight years.

In January the Kissimmee-Orlando-Sanford Metropolitan Statistical Area, as defined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, had an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent.

Broken out by county, Orange and Seminole counties both had 4.2 percent unemployment rates in February, and Osceola had a 4.9 percent rate, and each saw improvements in the past month. In other Central Florida counties, Lake County’s February unemployment rate was 4.7 percent, Volusia’s 4.9, Brevard’s 5.2, and Polk’s 5.3. Sumter County, home of most of  The Villages senior-living region, had  an unemployment rate of 6.8 percent.

“I am proud to announce that Orlando continues to lead the state in job creation and created more than 45,000 new jobs over the year,” Scott stated in a news release issued Friday by his office.

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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