The unemployment rate in Florida and in Lee County climbed in July, according to information released by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
Last month, Florida's unemployment rate rose from 8.6 percent to 8.8 percent, a 0.2 percent increase. In June and May, the state rate held at 8.6 percent - the lowest rate since December 2008, according to officials.
For 12 of the last 13 months, the rate has declined or held steady.
The five-county region that includes Lee County reported a 9.9 percent unemployment rate, not seasonally adjusted, in July. That is a 0.6 percent jump from June's reported rate, but a 2 percent decline from July 2011.
According to the state department, Lee County reported a 9.7 percent unemployment rate last month - again, not seasonally adjusted. In June, the county recorded a 9.3 percent rate and a 11.8 percent rate in July 2011.
Still the state continues to see job growth, officials said.
"While the unemployment rate can vary from month to month, Florida continues to see positive private sector job growth," Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement released Friday by the Department of Economic Opportunity.
In July, Florida was one of only eight states that saw an increase in job demand. It led the nation in online job ads gained, in areas like sales, health care, technical, office and administrative, computer and mathematical.
The state reported more than 264,000 job openings in July, jumping nearly 30,000 job openings from the same time last year, officials reported. Since December 2010, Florida has gained more than 130,000 private sector jobs.
In the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro area, manufacturing jobs rose 9.1 percent and professional and business service jobs increased 5.2 percent last month as compared to July 2011. Retail trade climbed 1.5 percent.
Year over year, transportation, warehousing and utilities saw the biggest decrease in jobs at 5.7 percent. Leisure and hospitality jobs dropped by 3.8 percent, while mining, logging and construction jobs dipped by 3.2 percent.
Available metro area statistics were not seasonally adjusted.
Florida has seen positive annual job growth for 24 consecutive months.
"My goal remains the same," Scott said. "To make Florida the number one business destination in the world by improving the state's economic climate, highlighting our talented and skilled workforce and getting Floridians back to work."
Officials also reported that consumer confidence rose in July due to "improved perceptions of personal finances and was at the highest level" since December 2009. State revenue projections continue to improve.
In July, more than 25,000 residents in Florida were placed in jobs.