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Politics

Unemployment Rate Drops to 6.2 Percent

January 23, 2014 - 6:00pm

Gov. Rick Scott released Floridas job figures on Friday for the month of December, which showed the states 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 states 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 States 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 its clear that our economic policies are working, he explained.

Floridas 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 Floridas economy.

Floridas 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.

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

Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen atAllison@sunshinestatenews.comor follow her on Twitter at @AllisonNielsen.

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