Florida unemployment expected to rise

Florida’s unemployment rate is expected to hit 12 percent, the highest ever recorded, with more than one million out of work in the state.

This is the first time in Gov. Charlie Crist’s tenure as governor that state economists project state tax revenues to raise, if modestly.

The state’s unemployment rate currently rests at 11.8 percent. Businesses, some of them facing 1,000 percent increases in unemployment taxes, are threatening layoffs.

Crist and legislative leaders want to delay the pain, but experts say that increases are unavoidable. Their plan would raise the per-employee tax to $25.20 this year and $53.90 the next. But it would soar to $192.95 in 2012.