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Florida unemployment rate dips below national average

By Staff | Mar 22, 2013

Florida Governor Rick Scott announced Monday that since December 2010, Florida has created 282,200 private sector jobs and the state’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.

“Everything we do is geared toward job creation,” Scott said. “Today we have more proof that it’s working. 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,” Scott added. “Today’s announcement is more proof that our formula for economic growth is working and providing more jobs and opportunities for Florida families.”

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. Monday’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.