Published: Sep 17, 2010 5:37 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 17, 2010 12:39 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A state economist says an improving economy means people who had given up looking for work are getting back into the job market.

And that's inflating Florida's unemployment rate.

The state's August's jobless figure is being released Friday.

Legislative economist Amy Baker expected another uptick. Florida's unemployment rate increased from 11.4 percent to 11.5 percent in July.

Baker this week told a legislative budget panel that the unemployment rate has been going up slightly because economic growth is encouraging labor market dropouts to again hunt for jobs.

People who are neither working nor looking for a job aren't included in unemployment statistics.