Florida Adds 32,000 Jobs in February; Unemployment Rate 6.2 Percent

By: Allison Nielsen | Posted: March 28, 2014 10:45 AM
Rick Scott

Rick Scott

Florida’s February job numbers, released Friday, show the state created 32,100 private-sector jobs over the month while the unemployment rate held steady at 6.2 percent.

Gov. Rick Scott made the announcement in Tampa, praising the numbers as an indication that Florida is on the right track for creating more jobs in the future.

“It is clear that businesses are growing and creating more jobs and opportunities for Floridians,” said Scott. “We are moving Florida’s opportunity economy forward and the addition of more than 32,000 private-sector jobs in just last month is great news for Florida families. Let’s keep working so that every Floridian who wants a job can get one.”

According to the report, there were 588,000 jobless Floridians in the month of February, up from 583,000 in January. Compared to February a year ago, the number of jobs in the state was up by 211,500, an increase of 2.8 percent.

The unemployment rate did not decrease, however -- it remained unchanged from January’s figure of 6.2 percent, lowest since June 2008 when it was 6 percent.

Florida’s unemployment rate continues to remain below the national rate, which was 6.7 percent in February.

Monroe County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 3.8 percent, followed by Walton County (4.2 percent) and Alachua and Okaloosa counties (5 percent each).

Hendry County had the highest unemployment rate at 9.8 percent, followed by Flagler County (9.4 percent) and Hamilton County (9 percent).

The numbers are a positive for Scott, who is using Florida's low unemployment rate and job creation as center points for his re-election campaign.

Jesse Panuccio, executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, said the numbers were a good indicator of the strides Florida has made and will continue to make in the future.

“Job creation is the key to an opportunity economy and February was a very strong month on this score,” said Panuccio. “Our record job demand is a promise for the future for families that were devastated by the recession. We will continue to pursue policies that keep our economy growing.”

Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen at or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonNielsen. 

Comments (1)

Harold Monoginslogin
9:47AM MAR 29TH 2014
As Governor Scott and his minions continue to bragg about unemployment rate, the fact is he has had little or nothing to do with the change. The economy is turning around nationwide and would have done so irregardless of Scott.

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