Governor Rick Scott today announced that since Dec. 2010, Florida has created 282,200 private-sector jobs and Florida's January unemployment rate decreased below the national average to 7.8 percent -- down from the revised December 2012 rate of 7.9 percent. This is Florida's lowest unemployment rate since November 2008, and falls below the national average unemployment rate for the first time since January 2008.
Over the month, the state experienced an increase of 14,700 private-sector jobs. Since Governor Scott took office, the state's unemployment rate has dropped 3.3 percentage points. Florida's January 2013 unemployment rate of 7.8 percent was lower than the January national average of 7.9 percent.
Governor Scott said, "Everything we do is geared toward job creation. Today we have more proof that IT'S WORKING. Our unemployment rate is down to 7.8 percent -- falling below the national average for the first time in five years. We have added more than 280,000 private-sector jobs over the last two years, and as we continue to focus on greater economic growth, we will see even more jobs created.
"Other states chose to raise taxes. Other states chose to increase debt. In Florida, we chose the course of economic growth and greater job creation by cutting taxes and paying down debt for the first time in decades by $2 billion. Today's announcement is more proof that our formula for economic growth is working and providing more jobs and opportunities for Florida families. We are glad to see our unemployment rate fall below the national average for the first time in years, but our work isn't done until every Floridian who wants a job can find one.
"Today's event at Mitsubishi Power Systems also highlights the importance of our mission to totally eliminate the sales tax on manufacturing equipment. I am grateful for the legislators who are committed to supporting this priority. With their help, we will achieve another important milestone in Florida's economic growth."
Every March, the U.S. Department of Labor's, Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity release January employment and unemployment estimates as well as revised historical data. Today's announcement is the result of that annual process, which is known as "benchmarking." These benchmark revisions are a standard part of the estimation process and take place this same time every year in each state nationwide.
More Jobs Being Created
Florida has experienced positive annual job growth now for 30 consecutive months.
Florida job postings increased in February 2013 compared to the previous February by 21,366 (+8.8 percent), for a total of 263,240 openings (seasonally adjusted) according to the Help Wanted OnLine data series from the Conference Board.
Florida's job growth month-to-month has been positive for 18 of the last 19 months.
Florida is expected to create 900,000 new jobs by 2018, according to the Florida Economic Estimating Conference.
The number of available online job openings in STEM-related (sciences, technology, engineering, and math) fields in Florida have increased since last year, up 10.4 percent, for a total of 57,488 postings in February 2013.
Unemployment Continues to Decline
Florida's unemployment rate has now declined year-over-year for 27 consecutive months.
Initial claims for Reemployment Assistance benefits were down by almost 15 percent from one year ago.
Home Sales Robust
Home sales remain robust as the backlog of existing homes on the market is down by 41 percent from November 2011 (Florida Realtors).
Florida housing starts were up over the year in January (the most recent month available) by 52.6 percent and median home prices were up 12.4 percent over the year.
Economic Growth Trends Up Across State
A recent U.S. Census Survey reported that Florida experienced an influx of people moving into the state. Florida also led the nation in migrations from Puerto Rico.
Florida is running a trade surplus of over $24 billion -- with $86.8 billion in exports and $62.4 billion in imports in 2011, up from $73.1 billion in exports in 2010 and $53.2 billion in imports in 2010.
Workforce Boards Assisting in Employment
In February, the state's 24 Regional Workforce Boards reported more than 38,000 Floridians placed in jobs.
More than 426,000 Floridians were placed in jobs in 2012, with 111,173 former claimants finding employment.
Due to the processing time needed to prepare the annual benchmarking updates, the release of February 2013 employment data is scheduled for March 29. For the remainder of 2013, the monthly releases of the prior month's data will occur on the third Friday of each month. To view the January 2013 monthly employment data visit: