Central Florida unemployment rate falls

Average jobless rate drops below 9 percent


ORLANDO, Fla. – Unemployment is falling in Central Florida, the center of the Interstate 4 corridor that could play a major role in a presidential election less than seven weeks away.

The unemployment rate dropped to 8.6 percent in August -- down from 9.1 percent in July -- in the region that includes Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake and Sumter counties. It has fallen more than two percentage points from one year earlier, when the rate was 10.7 percent.

Statewide, unemployment fell to 9 percent, down from 9.4 percent in July and 10.9 in August 2011.

In Central Florida, Osceola County had the highest unemployment rate, 9.5 percent; Sumter had the lowest, 7.1 percent.