Florida's unemployment rate 11.9 percent in January

Florida's unemployment rate rose to 11.9 percent in January, tying the highest rate ever recorded in the state, and the number of out-of-work Floridians stood at 1.1 million, the state labor department announced Wednesday.

Sean Snaith, a University of Central Florida economist, said unemployed people can expect to face even tougher conditions -- and more company -- in coming months as the state slashes more jobs before beginning a slow recovery.

Donnetta Copeland-Simmons is one of the more than 100,000 unemployed in South Florida. She spent months sending out dozens of résumés, checking online job boards and cold-calling companies, before deciding to switch gears.

These days, the Sunrise woman is shaking hands and swapping business cards at job fairs and networking events throughout South Florida, and she has begun frequenting mixers that allow her to get face-to-face with hiring companies and make her pitch.

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