Florida's Jobs Situation: What Rick Scott Won't Tell You

Gov. Rick Scott has been proudly touting that Florida has created the second-most jobs in the country (behind Texas) since he took office, but here's what he won't tell you: Those new jobs suck.

More specifically, since the governor took office in January, Florida workers have had lower hourly wages, fewer hours to work, and smaller paychecks.

Scott hasn't made any mention about Florida ranking 49th out of the 50 states in weekly pay differences between January and May -- the most recent earnings statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The average weekly earnings for Florida workers dropped from $770.66 in January to $749.30 in May. The only state with a worse decline was Utah, which saw its average drop from $840.58 to $815.26 in the same time period.

Only 17 states, including Florida, have had decreases in weekly earnings since January, and all but four of those states dropped less than $10 -- compared to Florida's $21.36 decrease.

It's not as if all the other states are struggling either. Alaska's average weekly earnings have gone up more than $64. Louisiana, Vermont, South Carolina, and North Dakota each managed to increase weekly earnings more than $25.

The ultimate irony from Scott's "getting Florida back to work" rhetoric is that Florida has the largest decrease in the nation in weekly hours for workers since he took office.

People worked 35.4 hours per week on average in January, which dropped to 34.9 in May. In fact, the average number of hours worked per week decreased only in Florida, New Mexico, and Hawaii.

It looks like Florida hasn't exactly been getting "back to work" since Scott took over.

Maybe he should take it easy on the bromance with Texas Gov. Rick Perry and take a page out of the playbook of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who also took office in January.

Sure, South Carolina hasn't created as many jobs as Florida (14,400 to 75,300), but Florida also has four times as many residents.

Since Haley took office, average weekly earnings have risen from $701.49 to $729.03, and the average weekly hours have gone from 33.5 per week to 35.1.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal also took office in January, and his state has also seen an increase in weekly earnings ($752.98 to $766.16) and weekly hours worked (33.6 to 35).

Instead, Florida gets to deal with doughnut salesman Rick Scott. Thus far, it looks like the governor has created jobs, but not mentioning the severe decreases in worker pay and hours is a lie by omission.

Click on the links to see the statistics straight from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for both January and May.

The hours and earnings statistics for June should be released later this week.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley