Unemployment Rate Released

Florida’s first unemployment rate released under Gov. Rick Scott shows a slight drop in January, decreasing .1 percent to 11.9 percent for the month. During January 1,100,000 Floridians were out of work, which is down 8,000 from December. But again the state lost jobs, losing nearly 13,000 jobs during January after losing nearly 18,000 in December. The decrease in the unemployment rate, however, is the first decline since June of 2010 and comes after two consecutive months of the rate staying at 12 percent.

“While Florida’s unemployment rate is still unacceptably high, we are seeing positive signs that employers are starting to hire,” said Cynthia R. Lorenzo, director of the Agency for Workforce Innovation.

The increase coincides with the first rate released under Scott, who has touted his pro-jobs and pro-business agenda. A part of Scott’s agenda is to bring 700,000 jobs in seven years by removing business regulations and enticing companies to move to Florida.

“An increase in online advertisements for full-time jobs coupled with an increase in Florida’s consumer confidence index indicates that our business owners and families are increasingly optimistic about Florida’s economic recovery,” said Lorenzo.

The lowest unemployment rates were in Liberty and Monroe counties at 7.6 percent each. Alachua County followed at 8.6 percent and Wakulla County at 8.7 percent. The highest unemployment rate is in Flagler County at 16 percent, up .3 percent from December. Hernando County followed at 15.1 percent, while Hendry and Marion counties followed at 14.2 percent each.