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Apr 17, 12:44 PM EDT

Despite job gains, state unemployment rate remains flat


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The latest unemployment figures show Florida's jobless rate is remaining flat, despite a gain of more than 30,000 jobs.

Gov. Rick Scott announced the new employment figures Friday while visiting Kellstrom Defense Aerospace, Inc. in Miramar, which is expanding its operations to add 20 jobs.

The figures show the March unemployment rate was 5.7 percent which matches revised figures for February. Florida's unemployment rate remains higher than the national rate of 5.5 percent.

Scott says Florida has recovered the jobs it lost during the Great Recession prior to him taking office in 2011.

State economists, however, say because of population growth it would take more than 600,000 additional jobs to match the employment levels prior to the downturn.

Economists point out people are returning to the workforce and seeking jobs as the economy improves.

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