Florida Governor Rick Scott shows support for small businesses

On the heels of signing the state’s budget and launch of his “let’s keep working” re-election campaign, 45th Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, paid a visit to St Augustine to address two prominent constituencies that many political advisors are saying Scott needs to carry.

In the case of St Augustine, tourism is the life-blood of industry. The overwhelming majority of workers are somehow traceable to tourism here, but, other attractions need visitors as well. Scott’s administration is proud of their support and increased financial attention to the Visit Florida initiative.

Governor Scott said, “April’s job creation number of more than 33,000 jobs is great news for Florida families. With Florida’s unemployment rate dropping to 6.2 percent, we’re succeeding in creating an opportunity economy. The state’s private sector has created more than 600,000 jobs for Florida families since December 2010, and we are another step toward making sure every Floridian who wants a job can get one.”

Accompanied by Florida Senator John Thrasher, and State Representative Doc Renuart, and flanked by economic development advocates from the St Johns County Chamber of Commerce as well as the Visitors and Convention Bureau, Scott dropped by the Florida Attraction Association state meeting being held in St Johns County, and the Whetstone Chocolate Factory to deliver a similar message — the majority of new jobs are being created in the small business sector.

For the ninth consecutive month, Florida’s unemployment rate has been below the national unemployment rate. In April 2014 unemployment was 6.2 percent, down 0.1 percent for the month and 1.4 percent over the year. Figures released for April indicate that Florida’s private sector created 33,700 jobs over the month. Since December 2010, Florida has added 600,400 private sector jobs.

In April 2014, the fourth month in a row, Florida’s labor force again increased over the month and over the year. Labor force was 9,608,000 in April 2014 and is defined as the sum of employment plus unemployment (those without a job, but actively seeking work). Furthermore, Florida’s labor force participation rate, which is labor force divided by the total civilian noninstitutional population, was 60.7 percent in April 2014, up 0.2 percentage point from the March 2014 participation rate of 60.5 percent.

Jesse Panuccio, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity said, “With 33,700 private sector jobs created, an unemployment rate down to 6.2 percent, an increasing labor force, and robust job demand, Florida’s economic turnaround is leading the nation. Sound, pro-growth policies are making a difference for Florida families.”

Florida’s over the year job growth rate in April 2014 of 3.3 percent represents the fastest annual job growth rate since March 2006. Florida’s annual job growth rate has exceeded the nation’s rate since April 2012. Also, Florida’s March private sector job creation was revised up to a total of 23,700 jobs created over the month.

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