TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida's unemployment rate is continuing its rapid rise.

State officials said Friday the rate jumped a full percentage point to 8.6 percent in January - the highest the jobless rate has been in more than 16 years. In September 1992, the rate hit 8.9 percent.

Florida's rate also was a full percentage point above the 7.6 percent national figure for January.

Federal officials also announced Friday a national unemployment rate of 8.1 percent for February. State figures can lag two or more weeks behind national numbers.


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