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Latest Florida economic review continues to question Scott’s turnaround claims

by John Kennedy | July 17th, 2012

The latest state assessment of Florida’s economy continues to cloud Gov. Rick Scott’s claims that his policies are leading to an eye-catching drop in unemployment.

The Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research said Tuesday that the 1.3 percent decline in the state’s jobless level between the end of 2011 and May is largely attributed to Floridians leaving the workforce.

The unemployment rate in December was 9.9 percent and in May was clocked in at 8.6 percent. But EDR found that had the same number of Floridians been seeking jobs in May, that actual unemployment level would have been 9.5 percent, a more modest reduction.

“Sixty-nine percent of the drop in the unemployment rate is due to people dropping out of the labor force,” the analysis concluded. EDR raised similar concerns last month about April’s rate, which marked a three-year low in jobless levels.

The workforce decline is occuring in most states.  But as the nation’s biggest battleground state in the presidential contest, Florida’s improving employment picture is being grabbed by both parties.

Scott says the state’s gains would be even better if the national scene improved.  President Obama, who is scheduled to campaign Thursday and Friday in Florida,  including a stop at West Palm Beach’s Century Village, also has taken credit for brightening the Sunshine State’s out-of-work numbers.

For its part, EDR’s analysis steers clear of praise. The findings show that Florida will need to gain 1 million jobs to match the state’s pre-recession employment levels. Meanwhile, only four counties have gained employment over the past four years — rural Glades, Sumter, Suwannee and Calhoun.

Scott, though, says that since he was inaugurated, the state has created 99,600 jobs through May. His campaign goal: 700,000 jobs in seven years.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Labor Department is still reviewing a complaint by Florida Legal Services and the National Employment Law Project that wholesale changes to how Florida workers file claims have denied unemployment checks to thousands of eligible Floridians.

The latest change occured July 1, when state officials rebranded Florida’s unemployment compensation system. It’s now called reemployment assistance — but critics say it’s still hard to get. 

Critics say frustration with the system  may be fueling the perception of a sharp unemployment drop.

Thousands of job-seekers are more likely abandoning their search or just leaving the state and falling out of Florida’s labor market, they said.

5 Responses to “Latest Florida economic review continues to question Scott’s turnaround claims”

  1. IMPEACH RICK SCOTT Says:

    One word:

    IMPEACH.

  2. Robert Says:

    Rick Scott who Spent $ 79 Million of His own Money To “BUY Governorship”
    made His Fortune as CEO of Hospital Corp of America (HCA),which Was Fined $ One Billion 300 Million for Medicare Fraud overcharges,

    Also Loves the “Paul Ryan Budget, which Willard Romney called “Wonderful”!
    Because “IT makes you Buy Insurance Thru HCA and Corporate Health Insurors

    Do you know what is in Ryan Plan, and not in it?

    Medicare will be phased OUT to – “A Voucher Program” where seniors will “receive a Stipend of $8 to $9 K with which to “Purchase Private Health Insurance” which will Now Cost Them up to 50 percent More Than the 20 percent Co-Pay of Today! Medicaid will be cut 1/3 and become a payment to a State to adsminister and ration medical care… ie. ” STATE DEATH PANELS”!!

    Their Objective, as Grover Nordquist says “Shrink Medicare and Medicaid to a size where It can be drowned in a bathtub”!

    So, The Republican Heath PLAN — “Is NO PLAN” , Just .. “If You Cannot Afford ta Buy Private Health Insurance … JUST DIE”!

  3. Rick Scott's Nemesis! Says:

    The method of calculating the unemployment rate is a joke since it only counts people who are receiving the so-called “reemployment assistance.” The fact that the State (GOP Legislature) has made collecting this “assistance” so difficult to collect means many more people who are NOT working are not counted. The crook n chief Governor is naive if he thinks he is doing ANYTHING to bring the unemployment rate down. I agree, IMPEACH Rick Scott, the sooner, the better. And the “tealady” can go straight to hell!

  4. Uncle Samuel Says:

    The Obama Economic Policy for 2012-16:
    2012: Blame G.W. Bush.
    2013: Blame William Howard Taft.
    2014: Blame Franklin Pierce.
    2015: Blame Millard Fillmore.
    2016: Blame America…

  5. Lowell Pengra Says:

    Ahora est? bien de disponer tan escaso criterio tambi?n tan poca originalidad. Nuestro j?venes se hallan hasta el gorro respecto de tantas sagas de

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