The national recession that officially began in December 2007 started hitting Florida several months earlier. For almost three years now, the number of jobs has dropped almost every month, from a peak in March 2007 to a low in January 2010.
For the first time in 34 months, however, Florida actually gained a substantial number of jobs in February--26,300. One month doesn't make a trend, of course, but it may indicate that the period of job losses in Florida may have come to an end.
The leveling off of job losses may reflect the billions of dollars injected into Florida’s economy by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. These "stimulus funds" helped preserve jobs funded by government, particularly teachers and others school workers. In addition, some of the federal money aided private employers, such as those who provide healthcare services funded by the Medicaid program.
A look at Florida's long, steady decline in nonfarm jobs:
For more about Florida's unemployment situation, see our report on job losses.