On Friday, Gov. Rick Scott announced the unemployment rate in Florida stood at 4.5 percent in April, the lowest it had been since September 2017 and just above the national unemployment rate of 4.4 percent.
In March, the state unemployment rate was 4.8 percent. Since Scott took office at the start of 2011, there have been more than 1.3 million new jobs created in the Sunshine State.
Pointing to the drop in the unemployment rate, Scott took aim at the Legislature which rejected his call for increased funding for Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida.
“I am proud to announce that Florida has achieved the lowest unemployment rate in almost a decade at 4.5 percent,” Scott said. “Florida businesses also created 15,000 new jobs during the month of April, which is further proof of our state’s continued economic growth. While Florida’s economy is on a roll, now is not the time to slow down our unrelenting efforts to bring more jobs and opportunities to our state.
“Businesses and site selectors have taken notice of the Florida Legislature’s decision to turn their backs on the incredible return on investment economic development programs like Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida have brought to our state,” Scott added. “This is not only disappointing, but could put our future job creation efforts at risk. Even though our private sector job growth rate is exceeding the nation’s, it is currently lower than it has been over the past year. This is something we cannot ignore. We cannot allow Florida to fall behind after our years of successful growth. We will continue to work each day to fight for jobs so our state can become the number one place for families and businesses to succeed.”
Cissy Proctor, the executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, praised Scott’s record in Tallahassee.
“Florida businesses have excelled over the past six years thanks to the policies of Gov. Scott and his administration,” she said. “Unemployment continues to drop, private sector jobs are on the rise and Florida families are flourishing. We must not give up on our efforts to make Florida the best place to start and grow a business.”
Professional and business services have led the way in Florida with 39,500 new jobs over the past year. The trade, transportation, and utilities sector has seen 36,600 new jobs added across the Sunshine State over the past year while there have been 34,400 new construction jobs added in Florida.
Monroe County had the lowest unemployment rate in Florida in April at 2.6 percent. St. Johns County on the First Coast was next with 3 percent followed by Okaloosa and Wakulla counties which both had unemployment rates at 3.2 percent. Hendry County had the highest unemployment rate at 6 percent last month followed by Sumter County at 5.7 percent and Citrus County at 5.5 percent.