Published: Sep 21, 2012 11:29 AM EDT
Updated: Sep 21, 2012 1:05 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida's unemployment rate in August remains at 8.8 percent for a second consecutive month.
    
The state's jobless rate has fallen half a percentage point in recent months. It is seven-tenths of a percentage point higher than the national average of 8.1 percent.
    
State labor officials reported there are 818,000 Floridians who remain jobless.
    
Monroe County in extreme South Florida had the lowest unemployment rate in August at 5 percent. Hendry County in southwest Florida had the highest at 15.3 percent.
    
Jobs are the centerpiece of Gov. Rick Scott's administration. The first-term Republican came into office on a promise of creating 700,000 new jobs. The state got some bad news on the jobs front earlier in the week when American Airlines announced that it was eliminating 1,400 jobs in Florida.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)