Florida Unemployment Rate Finally Decreases Back to May Level

Florida's unemployment rate decreased .1 percent to 10.6 percent in the month of September after three months of no change, putting the state back to the same rate it was at in May.

According to the numbers released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of unemployed people in Florida decreased by 11,700 from August to September, while the labor force increased by 14,300 people in that same time period.

Despite Gov. Rick Scott's retraction of his 700,000 extra jobs campaign promise, the state is adding jobs at a rate of just under -- you guessed it -- the predicted "normal growth," which the governor says you can't predict.

Two studies -- one from state economists, another from private economic forecasters -- predicted that Florida would add just over 1 million jobs by 2017 under normal economic growth.

In the latter study, the group suggests that Florida will have a 2.1 percent annual increase in jobs per year from 2011 to 2017.

That means under "normal growth" -- predicted to be almost the same amount of job creation by both state and private researchers -- the state would have gained 100,311 between January and September.

Florida has gained 92,400 jobs since Scott took over as governor, which means the state is around 8,000 jobs short of the predicted growth so far -- although the 2.1 annual increase is meant to be an average of the growth between 2011 and 2017.

Therefore, the governor's just about on pace -- for normal growth.

That makes his campaign promise of 700,000 extra jobs seemingly out of reach, even though the growth predictions are pretty darned close, even this early into the forecast.

Since the governor has bailed on his promise, he'll instead show you this gaudy graph, which would imply that job creation is "off the chart," and even gave himself a gold seal of approval:

Strangely enough, Scott is now comparing Florida's job creation to the national rate -- although he'll disregard the job creation rates he formed his campaign promise on.

Here's part of the news release from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity:

Florida has already begun to reap the benefits of a smaller, less-costly government and more business-friendly environment, as evidenced by the 110,300 private sector jobs added since January. Florida has had a net gain of 92,400 jobs during the same time period with a net gain of 23,300 jobs in September alone. In addition, Florida's 12-month job growth percentage rate, of 1.3 percent has outpaced the nation for the first time since 2007.

"Today's numbers are a strong signal that Florida is doing the right things to rebound from difficult economic times. But our job is far from over with 977,000 residents unemployed," said DEO Executive Director Doug Darling. "We must continue our efforts of coordinated economic development to create jobs and ensure our workforce is skilled and ready to be matched with employment opportunities."

Governor Scott provided the update on Florida's job creation efforts while leading a trade mission to Brazil to expand international trade, investment and tourism. Brazil is Florida's number-one trading partner, and Florida and Brazil share a $16 billion bilateral trade relationship. In addition, Brazil also led Florida's tourism industry last year as the number-two country of origin and number-one in tourism spending.

Say, governor, while you're on vacation in Brazil, would you mind doing justice a favor and bring back South Florida's favorite fugitive?

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley