Unemployment Rate Drops to 6.2 Percent

By: Allison Nielsen | Posted: January 24, 2014 11:00 AM
Rick Scott

Rick Scott

Gov. Rick Scott released Florida’s job figures on Friday for the month of December, which showed the state’s unemployment rate continued to drop to 6.2 percent -- its lowest mark since June 2008.

The Sunshine State's unemployment rate remained below the national rate, which was 6.7 percent in December.

“Once again we continue to distance ourselves from the national unemployment rate and create opportunities for Florida families,” said Scott on Friday. “In December 2013, Florida experienced another significant drop in the statewide unemployment rate – down now to 6.2 percent, the lowest since June 2008.”

Since December 2010 -- when the rate stood at 11.1 percent and before Scott took office -- the statewide unemployment rate has dropped 4.9 percent.

Monroe County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 3.5 percent for December, followed by Walton County (4 percent) and Okaloosa County (4.4 percent).

Hendry County had the highest unemployment rate at 10.2 percent, followed by Flagler County (8.8 percent), and Hamilton County (8.4 percent).

Scott also touted the addition of 13,500 private-sector jobs as an indication that the Sunshine State’s economy is on the right track.

“With 462,100 new private-sector jobs created since December 2010, opportunities continue to increase for Florida families and it’s clear that our economic policies are working,” he explained.

Florida’s annual job growth rate of 2.6 percent in December 2013 was the fastest the state has seen since June 2006.

Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Jesse Panuccio applauded the unemployment rate as a sign that low-tax policies were making a difference in Florida’s economy.

“Florida’s opportunity economy is getting stronger each month,” With our unemployment rate dropping to 6.2 percent in December, job creation continuing to climb, and another month of all-time high job demand, we can see that the low-tax policies and pro-business initiatives of the Scott administration are working.”

December’s job numbers seem promising for Scott, up for re-election in November. A significant chunk of Scott’s campaigning so far has been focused on job creation and the economy, and it’s likely Scott will continue to hit on the dropping unemployment rate as his campaign progresses.

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

Comments (11)

12:12AM JAN 31ST 2014
Scott's attack on Citizens is all ready costing us, now a chunk of proposed education money is coming from property taxes! When GOP talks about lower taxes it not for middle class and hard working Americans! REALITY>IDEOLOGY!
3:11AM JAN 26TH 2014
Much of FLA has always been service-type jobs with no benefits, see Disney. What Gov Scott wants to do is to change the entire dynamic of the state and get STEM - Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Science jobs here...that means manufacturing jobs that actually makes money. Real money. The way you do that is by making the business climate very friendly to business. We understand that businesses have analyzers that know all this, right? They have bean counters. Where to go to get the best bang for their buck? Does anyone here have an MBA?
6:45PM JAN 27TH 2014
Yes, yes, you must be right . . . this is SO important (elsewhere you even stated that "the future of our state depends on STEM"), that Scott waited until the 4th year of his first term (i.e. election year) to propose a measly $30 million (around $1.60/resident) for STEM training after previously giving his approval to create a new, un-needed and non-accredited STEM university out in the middle of nowhere, that took money away from nationally respected already accredited STEM programs at FSU, UF and the like, after holding USF funding hostage in a my-way-or-the-highway confrontation, just to build a legacy fiefdom for an individual Senator that even SSN complained about . . . .

And it must be why we cut funding to secondary education by over a billion dollars before having to partly replace it last year (and continue to have some of the lowest per capita educational funding in the country - in the bottom 1/4) . . . . . and it's why we're fighting the funding of additional medical care in the state, while companies owned by Gov. Rick Scott's finance chairman win potentially billions in Medicaid contracts . . . . and it's why we laid off scientists at the water management districts involved with Everglades restoration and at DEP while our rivers and springs started to die and citizens in even conservative districts began screaming about those issues . . . .

Yes, Scott is clearly mouthing that he's trying to develop STEM within Florida . . . . but the real question is why so little, so late . . . . . unless of course, like much else this year, it's a one-time thing prior to an election that he's still losing as the incumbent . . . .

Pathetic . . .
John Paul Jones
3:03PM JAN 25TH 2014
The larger point is that Florida is clearly outperforming the nation as a whole. Whatever numbers you use it is obvious that America is not putting people back to work under Obama. A governor who goes against the federal grain and helps create a more hospitable environment for economic recovery, like Gov. Scott has done, is to be commended. The federal government should take notice and start following Florida's lead.
11:01AM JAN 25TH 2014
When you fail to extend unemployment insurance some people give up looking in despair. You haven't "fixed" anything. They've simply been dropped from the denominator of the equation. Typical republican, anti-workingclass shenanigans.
6:02PM JAN 24TH 2014
This is interesting. The same people who rail against those who criticize the unemployment numbers as bogus and false that come from the Obama administration are the same people who criticize Gov. Scott when he uses the exact Obama administration generated unemployment numbers for Florida.
10:20AM JAN 25TH 2014
No, the numbers are in the right ballpark . . . it's the spin that is being attacked again (i.e. Scott is the savior of Florida) . . . when in fact, we're the middle of the pack and only 0.4 percentage points ahead of the national average . . . . and Scott wants all the credit, just as he wants to blame Crist for the worldwide housing collapse . . . once again, it's the Governor's partisan spin that's clearly . . .

Pathetic . . .
5:54PM JAN 24TH 2014
Wake me when Florida's unemployment rate gets into the lowest five states . . . maybe even the lowest ten states . . . . gee, I'll even take notice when its in the lowest fifteen states . . . what, can't we even make the lowest 20??? . . . . . no . . . . well . . . . where does that place us . . . . . makes me wonder about that claim that "we can see that the low-tax policies and pro-business initiatives of the Scott administration are working" as just more spin politics of the "Big Lie" . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
3:23PM JAN 24TH 2014
What they don't mention is we have the 6th highest underemployment rate and a ton of people who have stopped looking for jobs therefore are not counted in the official employment figures. Not mention the workforce has increased by only 96k even though growth in 16+ workers is upwards of 200k. Those numbers paint a fuller picture speak to a jobless low wage recovery where people are permanently left out of the workforce or forced to take jobs at much lower wages.
2:59PM JAN 24TH 2014
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David Lane
12:18PM JAN 24TH 2014
What kinds of jobs are we creating? Arey they jobs where people can live without government assistance? Healthcare included? Are they full time permanent jobs with some benefits? Puts some facts into these articles please. Florida is pretty good at crating service type jobs leading to nowhere.

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