Unemployment Rate Drops to 6.2 Percent
Around the State
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.
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 Allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonNielsen.