Florida's jobs recovery last year was among the strongest in the country on a couple fronts, according to a U.S. Department of Labor analysis released Friday.
The state's huge drop in its unemployment rate last year was second only to Nevada and it also was among the leaders in growing its labor force participation by one measure.
Florida's unemployment rate fell 1.6 percentage points — from 8.8 percent to 7.2 percent. By comparison, Nevada's jobless rate fell 1.7 percentage points down to a still-stunning 9.8 percent.
A group of state economists has indicated the steep drop in Florida's unemployment rate since 2011 may be overstated, as much of it is tied to a big drop in Floridians participating in the labor force. Nevertheless, one measure of labor force participation, commonly called the employment rate, showed Florida on an upswing.
The state's employment to population ratio, which measures the percentage of the working-age population who have a job, rose a half-percentage point last year to 55.8 percent. That improvement ties with California and trails only Utah, where the ratio rose 1.4 percentage points, the Labor Department reported.
Because of an annual revision process, the government has not yet released state-by-state jobs reports for any months in 2014. Florida's January numbers will be released March 17, followed by its February numbers on March 28.