Governor Scott: State Unemployment Rate Continues to Drop

Governor Rick Scott today announced that since Dec. 2010, Florida has created 294,200 private-sector jobs and Florida’s February 2013 unemployment rate decreased 0.2 percentage points to 7.7 percent – the lowest since October 2008. Governor Scott made the announcement at Amcor Rigid Plastics USA Inc. in Orlando, a plastics manufacturing company, which opened a new 500,000 sq-ft manufacturing facility in January, hiring 29 employees with a capital investment of $20 million.

Governor Scott said, “With an unemployment rate of 7.7 percent, the lowest in more than four years, and nearly 300,000 private sector jobs created over the last two years, we have proof that IT’S WORKING. Our efforts to reduce taxes, pay down state debt and grow the economy, demonstrates our success in growing jobs for Florida families. While today’s announcement is great news, we know we have more work to do to ensure that every Florida family that wants a job can get one.”

Over the month, the state experienced an increase of 7,700 private-sector jobs, while 139,200 private sector jobs have been created since February 2012. Since Governor Scott took office, the state’s unemployment rate has dropped 3.4 percentage points, the second largest drop in the nation.

More Jobs Being Created
• Florida has experienced positive annual job growth now for 31 consecutive months.
• Florida job postings increased in February 2013 compared to the previous February by 21,366 (+8.8 percent), for a total of 263,240 openings (seasonally adjusted) according to the Help Wanted OnLine data series from the Conference Board.
• Florida’s job growth month-to-month has been positive for 19 of the last 20 months.
• Florida is expected to create more than 900,000 new jobs by 2018, according to the Florida Economic Estimating Conference.
• The number of available online job openings in STEM-related (sciences, technology, engineering, and math) fields in Florida have increased since last year, up 10.4 percent, for a total of 57,488 postings in February 2013.

Unemployment Continues to Decline
• Florida’s unemployment rate has now declined year-over-year for 28 consecutive months.

Home Sales Robust 
• Home sales remain robust as the backlog of existing homes on the market is down by 32 percent from February 2012 (Florida Realtors).
• Florida housing starts were up over the year in January 2013 (the most recent month available) by 52.6 percent and median home prices were up 12.8 percent in February 2013 over the year.

Economic Growth Trends Up Across State
• A recent U.S. Census Survey reported that Florida experienced an influx of people moving into the state. Florida also led the nation in migrations from Puerto Rico.
• Florida is running a trade surplus of over $24 billion – with $86.8 billion in exports and $62.4 billion in imports in 2011, up from $73.1 billion in exports in 2010 and $53.2 billion in imports in 2010.

Workforce Boards Assisting in Employment 
• In February, the state’s 24 Regional Workforce Boards reported more than 38,000 Floridians placed in jobs.
• More than 426,000 Floridians were placed in jobs in 2012, with 111,173 former claimants finding employment.

To watch the announcement: CLICK HERE.
To view the February 2013 monthly employment data