MIAMI (AP) -- Florida's unemployment rate keeps dropping.
The state released May jobless numbers on Friday. The new unemployment rate is 7.1 percent -- a drop of 0.1 percent from the previous month.
Florida's unemployment rate remains below the national average of 7.6 percent.
Gov. Rick Scott has been using the state's dropping unemployment rate as part of his re-election pitch. He spent the last week on a trade mission to Paris. During the trip he has announced that several companies are expanding or relocating to Florida.
The May rate is the lowest it has been in Florida since September 2008. There are now an estimated 671,000 Floridians out of work.
The unemployment rate in Central Florida (Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Sumter counties) was 6.5 percent last month, according to the latest employment and unemployment release by the Department of Economic Opportunity.
The region's jobless rate was down 1.8 percentage points from 8.3 percent a year ago and was 0.5 percentage point lower than the state rate of 7.0 percent. Out of a labor force of 1,195,052, there were 78,238 unemployed residents in the region.
Sumter County's unemployment rate (5.9 percent) was the lowest of the counties that comprise the Workforce Central Florida region. The unemployment rates in the other counties were: 7.2 percent in Lake County, 7.1 percent in Osceola County, 6.5 percent in Orange County and 6.1 percent in Seminole County.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports Florida has gained the third highest number of jobs in the nation since last year.