Florida's Unemployment Rate Falls to 6.4 Percent

By: Allison Nielsen | Posted: December 20, 2013 11:00 AM
Rick Scott

Rick Scott

The unemployment rate in Florida continued to fall in November, according to the Department of Economic Opportunity which announced Friday that the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.4 percent, the lowest it’s been since July 2008.

Friday’s numbers showed Florida added 6,000 private-sector jobs in November and it has created a total of 446,300 private-sector jobs since December 2010.

Florida’s annual job growth rate of 2.5 percent for October and November was the fastest the state has seen since June 2006.

The state's unemployment rate continues to stay below the national unemployment rate, which is currently 7 percent.

Since December 2010, Florida’s statewide unemployment rate has dropped 4.7 percent, from a rate of 11.1 percent to November’s rate of 6.4 percent.

Florida’s unemployment rate has now declined year-over-year for 37 consecutive months.

Monroe County boasted the lowest unemployment rate in the state, with only 3.7 percent, while Walton County and Okaloosa County trailed behind with 4 percent and 4.5 percent unemployment rates, respectively.

Hendry County had an unemployment rate nearly 5 percentage points higher than the statewide average at 11.3 percent. Flagler County and Putnam County had the second and third highest unemployment rates at 9.2 percent and 8.4 percent.

Gov. Rick Scott trumpeted Friday’s numbers as only part of what he’s done to help Florida’s economy.

“We haven’t experienced an unemployment rate this low in over five years. At 6.4 percent, we’re well below the nation’s 7 percent unemployment rate, and we added another 6,000 new jobs in November,” said Scott. “We’ve cut taxes, made government more efficient and provided more services to families. The result: We are creating an opportunity economy that supports more than 446,000 new private-sector jobs since December 2010.”

Others chimed in with Scott, agreeing that Florida’s economy is on the right track.

“The economic news just keeps getting better for Florida,” said DEO Executive Director Jesse Panuccio. “We’ve had another significant drop in the unemployment rate, continued job growth, and job demand is at an all-time high. The policies of the Scott administration are working to create an opportunity economy for all Floridians.”

Scott also added that he’s planning to do more for Florida’s families by cutting automobile taxes in the next budget.

“Today’s news is great, but we’re not finished,” he said. “We’re proposing to cut automobile taxes and fees by $401 million in our next budget. In 2009, those fees were raised, and we’re going to undo that 54 percent increase on Florida families.”

According to the Florida Economic Estimating Conference, Florida can continue to see job growth in the coming years. The conference estimated that Florida will create more than 1 million new jobs by 2018.

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

Comments (2)

9:20AM DEC 21ST 2013
we have no idea what florida's unemployment rate actually is. the recently replaced unemployment system in florida was designed to not report unemployment by discouraging people from using it, it worked, it was a horrible joke, so bad in fact the feds were about to sue florida over it.
the new improved 62 million dollar system doesn't work either and hasn't paid many people since it's roll out in oct.
this has been a disastrous debacle for 3 yrs.
Sam Adams
6:53PM DEC 20TH 2013
If anyone believes that Rick Scott has anything whatsoever to do with either adding for losing jobs in Florida has clearly fallen down the rabbit hole.

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