State unemployment drops to lowest mark since 2008

Updated:

FLORIDA - Florida labor officials say the state's unemployment dropped to its lowest mark in nearly four years in October with 8.5 percent of the workforce still hunting for jobs.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has been quick to boast of improvements in the state's unemployment numbers to the chagrin of Republicans anxious to blame President Barack Obama for high unemployment.

Although the figure is an improvement from September's 8.7 percent unemployment in Florida, it remains six-tenths of a percentage point higher than the national average of 7.9 percent.

It is Florida's first unemployment figures since Obama was re-elected last week.

Unemployment and job creation were a major part of the debate between Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, who has promised to create 12 million new jobs if elected.