Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.7 Percent in Florida

Unemployment is down and that is always good news

By KEVIN DERBY Sunshine State News 

On Friday, Gov. Rick Scott announced the unemployment rate in Florida slipped down to 3.7 percent, the lowest it has been since April 2007, as more than 26,300 jobs were added to the private sector in July.

The national unemployment rate was 3.9 percent last month. Back in June, Florida had a 3.8 percent unemployment rate.

Speaking at a manufacturing company in St. Augustine, Scott noted that almost 1.6 million new jobs had created since he took over as governor at the start of 2011. Facing term limits in Tallahassee, Scott is challenging U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and is expected to easily win the Republican nomination in the primary later this month.

“As Florida’s economy continues to grow and unemployment has reached its lowest point in more than a decade, even more Floridians are finding great jobs in the Sunshine State,” Scott said on Friday. “I am proud that our pro-growth strategies are paying off with nearly 1.6 million jobs created since I took office. Our soaring economy has allowed us to make investments in areas that matter to families, like education, transportation and protecting our environment. That’s why Florida continues to outpace the nation in job growth and is the best state to find a job and raise a family.”

Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, also weighed in on the job numbers.

“Florida’s economy is thriving under Governor Scott’s leadership with phenomenal private sector job growth as our labor force continues to expand,” Proctor said. “Florida has added more than 57,000 new jobs just in the past two months, showing businesses are investing in our economy. Consumer sentiment also remains high, indicating that residents are confident and finding jobs with the nearly 1.6 million new jobs added since December 2010.”

In the past year, the leisure and hospitality sector led the way with 50,400 new jobs followed by the construction with 38,200 new jobs and education and health services with 33,700 new jobs.

Okaloosa and St. Johns counties tied for the state lowest unemployment rate at 3.0 percent each followed by Walton County at 3.1 percent and Monroe County at 3.2 percent. Hendry County continued to have the highest unemployment rate at 8.7 percent in Florida followed by Hardee County at 6.8 percent and Highlands County at 5.8 percent.

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