Florida unemployment rate continues to drop to 6.1%

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s frequent raids to lure businesses from other states and even countries are paying off. He announced Monday that over a half-million jobs have been created in the last three years, as the unemployment continues to drop.

Scott said in Monday’s press release that Florida’s unemployment rate for January, 2014 was the state’s lowest since June, 2008 — 6.1 percent, 0.5 percent below the official national rate. Statewide unemployment has held below the national rate since August, 2013, and since December, 2010, Florida has created 503,500 private sector jobs.

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“With the steady increase in job creation and a five percentage point drop since December 2010 bringing the unemployment rate down to 6.1 percent, it is clear we’re making a positive impact on businesses and families in Florida,” Scott said in a press release. “We are creating an opportunity economy where businesses can continue to grow, and with more than 500,000 new private sector jobs in Florida in just over three years the progress we have made is evident. We have come a long way in three years, but let’s keep working to make sure every person who wants a job can have one.”

Every March, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases revised historical employment (jobs) and unemployment rates based on a benchmarking process to adjust the data. These benchmark revisions are mandated by BLS and take place this time every year in every state.  The benchmark revisions represent an annual change in the level of employment or re-anchoring of survey estimates to actual employment counts from Reemployment Assistance tax records.  This process also introduces new population inputs from the most recent Census and other revisions to economic data which leads to changes in the original estimates.

The benchmarked 2013 jobs data showed that the state created more private sector jobs than were originally estimated.  Nearly 200,000 new private sector jobs were added in 2013 alone.

“With a five point drop in the statewide unemployment rate and more than 500,000 new private sector jobs created since December 2010, we have another successful chapter in Florida’s economic turnaround story” Jesse Panuccio, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity said. “More Florida families are getting back to work across the state, and there is still more work to do to foster an opportunity economy for Florida’s present and future generations.”

Read the entire press release here, and view the full January unemployment data here.

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