Tampa Bay and a dozen other Florida metros have posted among the biggest drops in unemployment nationwide over the past year.
The vast majority of the country's 372 metropolitan areas saw unemployment fall from October 2011 to last month, according to a U.S. Department of Labor analysis Wednesday.
Only 29 metros, however, recorded a decrease of 2 percentage points or more. Almost half of those were in Florida. Among them: Tampa Bay, whose jobless rate in October fell to 8.2 percent (down from 10.5 percent a year ago) and Orlando, with a rate of 7.9 percent (down from 10.1 percent). Miami-Fort Lauderdale wasn't far behind with its jobless rate reaching 8.2 percent (down from 10 percent).
Ocala's unemployment rate fell 2.8 percentage points, the third-largest percentage drop nationwide, to reach 9.1 percent.
Florida's current unemployment rate of 8.5 percent is its lowest in more than four years, but it still lags the national jobless rate of 7.9 percent.
Unlike the metro numbers, the national and state calculations are seasonally adjusted to account for typical labor swings in areas like education, retail and agriculture.