Governor Rick Scott announced at Obrascon Huarte Lain’s Southeast Region headquarters in Miami, that Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 8.0 percent for the month of December – down from last month and the lowest rate since November 2008. The December 2012 rate was 1.9 percentage points lower than the year-ago rate of 9.9 percent. Since Governor Scott took office, the state’s unemployment rate has dropped 3.1 percentage points.
Said Governor Rick Scott, “Florida’s unemployment rate is down to eight percent, its lowest in four years. Trends show that we are also experiencing growth in many different economic indicators that are key to job creation. Housing starts are on the rise, businesses and families continue to move to Florida and more jobs are being created. The changes we are making to improve our state’s business climate are helping Florida families pursue the American dream.”
Unemployment continues to decline. Florida’s unemployment rate has now declined year-over-year for 25 consecutive months. Initial claims for Reemployment Assistance benefits were down by 4.6 percent from one year ago while continued claims were down from an average of 553,000 in December 2010 to 270,181 for the week ending January 12, a 51 percent decrease, according to Lane Wright, spokesperson for the Office of Governor Rick Scott.
More jobs are being created in the state. Florida job postings increased in December 2012 compared to the previous December by 19,380 (+8.0 percent), for a total of 260,281 openings (seasonally adjusted) according to the Help Wanted OnLine data series from the Conference Board. Florida has experienced positive annual job growth now for 29 consecutive months. Florida’s job growth month-to-month has been positive for 14 of the last 18 months. Florida is expected to create more than 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 sharply increased since last year, up 16.5 percent, for a total of 61,271 postings in December 2012, according to Wright.