The state delivered more gloomy news on the job front Friday: The unemployment rate jumped to 4.9 percent from 4.6 percent as another 17,400 nonfarm jobs disappeared in March. That put Florida just below the U.S. rate of 5.1 percent and the highest since February 2004.
Florida's showing was second worst in the nation on two fronts; only Michigan lost more jobs and only California saw a bigger jump in the unemployment rate.
All told, 36 states posted a month-to-month increase in unemployment. In the Tampa Bay area, unemployment rose to 5.1 percent from 4.8 percent, pushing it to the highest rate in five years.