Who’s to Credit for Unemployment Drop?

By: Whitney Ray Email
By: Whitney Ray Email

Tallahassee, FL - Governor Rick Scott hurried into the room, made this announcement.

“Florida’s unemployment rate for March is 11.1 percent,” said Scott.

And left without taking one question about his role in lowering the unemployment rate.

Florida’s unemployment rate is down almost one percentage point from the time Scott took office. He seems to be taking credit for the drop… but even the chief economist for the state’s unemployment office can’t identify his contributions.

“It’s certainly it’s been the beginning of additional hiring by employers and all of those factors we don’t have the reasons why they’re all increasing,” said Rebecca Rust, AWI Chief Economist.

State lawmakers say the rate would have dropped no matter who was in office.

“This is something that would have happened whether Rick Scott or Alex Sink or whomever would have been governor,” said Sen. Mike Fasano.

“To attribute it to the first 100 days of Governor Scott is probably a little premature,” said Rep. Alan Williams,

The good news is more than 50-thousand jobs have been created since March of last year and the unemployment rate is at a 16 month low.

But a million people are still looking for a job… Scott recognizes he has his work cut out for him.

“We still have more than a million people out of work. That’s why I’m working everyday to create job and grow Florida’s private sector,” said Scott.

Scott promised to create 700-thousand jobs in seven years time. Economists say a million will be created in the same period as the state recovers from the recession. Scott says his jobs will be in addition… to the million… it’s just not clear yet how to separate the two.

The Governor’s Press Office says it’s too early to tell how Scott’s policies have affected the job market. But they believe some of what Scott’s has done so far has helped create a jobs friendly environment. They also point out that Scott has plenty of time to reach his goal of 700-thousand jobs.

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  • by James on Apr 18, 2011 at 08:13 PM
    But if One-time Charlie Crist was still in office, the Tallahassee Democrat & WCTV would have articles about how well Crist had started the road to recovery for our Florida economy. Hypocrites. All either of them do is post negative perspectives on Governor Scott. Go figure.
  • by No more unemployment benefits Location: Tallahassee Area on Apr 17, 2011 at 12:40 PM
    I'm one of the unemployed people who benefits have been exhausted. I have been seriously looking for a job for over a year to which I have had two interviews. Its seems it not what you know it is who you know. I have always worked and have not enjoyed this lay-off. I am now wondering how to make my car payment as well as my house payment. I have no money saved due to being unemployed for 19 months and I fear my home will be in forclosure if I can not find employment within the next couple of weeks. I have no children so I am not eligible for government benefits. I now qualify for food stamps but with no way to the store or a home what good will they be. And yes I have even applied to McDonalds but no such luck! I would appreciate a job and I'm sure others who try to support theirselves with no one to depend on would also like an opportunity to work.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 16, 2011 at 04:17 PM
    Well, once those 8,000 plus state employees receive their pink slips, the unemployment rate will go right back up.
  • by Sonny Location: Tallahassee on Apr 16, 2011 at 03:20 PM
    I think the credit goes to those who have been unemployed for so long, they are no longer included in the statistics.
  • by leon Location: tally on Apr 16, 2011 at 02:33 PM
    It's the end of an era. The 40-year boom of 3 million new residents per decade has come to an end. The past decade's tax cuts did not produced more jobs. The median household income in Florida is 43k. The *AVERAGE* however is 75k. Trickle-down hasn't worked in Florida. There's only one way to get that kind of weird divergence in those two numbers: Wealth accumulation. The rich are just sitting back & accumulating yet more wealth, but not through productive toil, but through overseas investments (offshored production). Until we get out of this cycle of non-productive money we'll be in the same rut that England got itself into during the 1970's, no real investment that stimulates the real, functioning consumer base that's co-resident with the function capital base. The ultra-rich think believe they live in a city in the sky that exists apart from everybody else. Who's been paying their wages? Who's been paying them interest on credit debt, predatory mortgages, and so on? We're in the exact nasty rut that everybody warned us about in the 1980's. "Greed is good?" Warren Buffet & Bill Gates have both pointed out they're not paying enough taxes. Pink Slip Rick, OTOH, got his remaining $270million through Columbia/HCA, the Medicare up-coding rip-off of the century.
  • by Mafita on Apr 16, 2011 at 11:40 AM
    Yeah, he has created some jobs; immediately he was in office he added 91 new staff to his office whit sky high salaries. I am sure when Solantic gets the contracts for Medicaid recipients he (I meant his wife) will create more jobs. Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. They should both be changed regularly and for the same reason!!
  • by Jane on Apr 16, 2011 at 11:26 AM
    Jobs governor? What jobs has this lying thief created? None.
  • by stateworker Location: fl baby on Apr 16, 2011 at 10:12 AM
    bla bla bla bla bla
  • by Franklin Thompson Location: Tallahassee on Apr 16, 2011 at 09:05 AM
    This is easy: No credit to 'the Government'. Government does not create jobs because government cannot create wealth because it [consumes] wealth in the form of taxes. Too much wealth being consumed by Government means less wealth for the people being taxed. Government jobs are wealth stealers. The credit goes to those in the private sector who hire. THEY are the wealth producers because those jobs exist apart from taxes. That is what wealth is. (in monetary terms)
  • by leon Location: tally on Apr 16, 2011 at 08:50 AM
    Again: Scott is probably showing off the most-commonly reported BLS U3 unemployment number. The more realistic figure is U6 unemployment, maintained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Florida's U6 unemployment is currently 19.3%, 5th worse in the U.S. Tally's unemployment is 8.9% but will go up another 1 - 2% depending on the number of furloughs this summer. When the pension contribution increase kicks in, Tally might lose the economic equivalent of another 2,000 jobs. The new overhead from the health ins. contribution might be the same or worse - another 2,000 jobs equivalent taken out of the Tally economy. Between those and furloughs, Tally might feel an equivalent loss of 6,000 jobs (out of a city workforce of 120,000 people). That's the equivalent of a 5% increase in unemployment, on top of the already going 8.9% rate we have right now. This'll pull the rug out from under our feet. The lack of COLA (inflation indexed) pay increases comes to a 30% pay cut over the past 5 years. That's like a loss of 1/3rd of Tallahassee's 33,000 state workers, the economic equivalent of 10,000 jobs, OR, a 8.3% jobs loss over the past 5 years.
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