Opinion

Florida unemployment rate drops to lowest since 2008

Florida’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.4 percent in November, hitting its lowest mark since 2008 and giving the Scott administration new momentum on the issue the governor has made the cornerstone of his tenure.

rickscott1220According to figures released Friday by the state Department of Economic Opportunity, Florida added 6,000 private-sector jobs in November, for a total of 446,300 new jobs since January 2011.

“We haven’t experienced an unemployment rate this low in over five years,” Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement released Friday.

Scott said the new unemployment number – well below the national rate of 7 percent – was a result of the administration’s efforts to create a more business friendly environment for job creators.

The new rate – down from 6.7 percent in October – is in sharp contrast to the jobless rate Scott inherited.  The unemployment rate was 11.4 percent in the last days of Scott’s predecessor and possible challenger for re-election in 2014, Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist.

“We’ve cut taxes, made government more efficient and provided more services to families,” Scott said in the statement. “The result: we are creating an opportunity economy that supports more than 446,000 new private sector jobs since December 2010.”

DEO Executive Director Jesse Panuccio was pleased with the report.

“The economic news just keeps getting better for Florida,” he said.

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