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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