Florida’s unemployment rate dropping like the nation’s: Scott takes creditby John Kennedy | April 15th, 2011
Florida’s unemployment rate dropped last month by its largest margin in more than eight years, and Gov. Rick Scott was ready Friday to take plenty of credit for the improving economy.
Florida’s March rate stands at 11.1 percent — down from 11.5 percent the month before. Scott also pointed out, “While that number is still too high, that is the lowest unemployment rate we’ve seen in more than a year. And it represents a nearly one percent decrease since I’ve become governor.”
“We’re seeing an encouraging trend…We’re clearly heading in the right direction. But we’ve got a long way to go,” Scott said.
He also used the findings to again push the Legislature to embrace his call for cutting state regulations, reducing the corporate income tax and consolidating job development agencies — and their millions of incentive dollars –under him.
Scott acknowledged that the national unemployment rate — at 8.8 percent, still well below Florida’s — had declined by only one-tenth of one percent since February.
But Scott failed to point out — as state economist Rebecca Rust did after Scott exited his news conference without taking any questions — that the national unemployment rate also has dropped by 1 percent over the past four months.
That basically mirrors Florida’s drop.
Some 43,800 jobs have been added in Florida since Scott took office in January. But have Scott’s policies helped spark that economy?
“We can’t say,” Rust conceded.