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Florida unemployment rate hits lowest point since 2008

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Florida’s unemployment rate for October dropped to 6.7, continuing a downward trend in jobless numbers since Gov. Rick Scott took office in 2011.

According to figures released Friday by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, 440,900 private-sector jobs have been created in the Sunshine State since December 2010.

rickscott1122The national unemployment rate for October was 7.3 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“This is our eighth month below the national average,” Scott said in a news release Friday. “Over the last two months, the state has added more than 67,000 private sector jobs. This is great news for Florida families.”

According to the release, Florida picked up 20,800 private-sector jobs in September and 46,400 jobs in October, making the state’s annual job growth rate from October 2012 to October 2013 the fastest since June 2006.

The jobs created in October are the most since Scott took office with a pledge to create 700,000 jobs in seven years.

With 46,400 new private sector jobs last month, this is the most growth in a month since December 2010. Florida’s annual job growth rate has exceeded or been equal to the nation’s job growth rate since March 2012. October’s number was down from 7 percent in August and 6.8 percent in September.

Jesse Panuccio, executive director of the Department of Economic Opportunity, called the report good news for the state, and good news for Scott as he heads into a re-election year.

“We continue to outpace the nation with respect to job growth, job demand, and unemployment decline, which is further proof that policy matters and the Governor’s pro-growth agenda is working,” Panuccio said.

When Scott took over the governor’s office from the outgoing Gov. Charlie Crist, the state’s unemployment rate was 11.1 percent. October’s 6.7 percent jobless rate was the lowest for the state since August 2008, when the economy began to tank.

It has now declined for 36 straight months.

In the release, Scott said the job on jobs isn’t done yet.

“We don’t just want a state where job creation reaches a certain number, or unemployment falls to a certain number,” he said. “We want to create an opportunity economy.”

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