Published: Dec 21, 2012 6:16 AM EST

   
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Governor Rick Scott is hoping the release of new unemployment figures for Florida will be an early Christmas present.
    
The November rate is being released Friday. It'll follow an 8.5 percent rate reported for October, the lowest in nearly four years.
    
That still left 790,000 Floridians out of work and the state's rate again topped the national figure, which was 7.9 percent for October.
    
Florida, though, has been steadily closing the gap in recent months.
    
That's been good news for Scott, who has made job creation the hallmark of his administration.
    
Polls, though, show the Republican governor's job approval rate still lagging below the 40 percent level as he approaches the halfway point of his four-year term.