DEO Press Releases

Gov. Scott: Florida Businesses Created Nearly 54,000 Jobs in 2017

Mar 24, 2017

BRADENTON, Fla. — Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that Florida businesses created 53,800 private-sector jobs in the first two months of 2017, bringing the total number of new jobs added since December 2010 to 1,346,200. Governor Scott made the announcement at Bealls, Inc. in Bradenton. The retailer, which is headquartered in Florida, has created more than 300 jobs across the state over the past two years and employs more than 8,500 Floridians.

Governor Rick Scott said, “I am proud to announce that Florida’s private-sector businesses have created nearly 54,000 new jobs in 2017. Over the past six years, we have been relentless in our efforts to make Florida the most business-friendly state in the nation because a job is the most important thing to a family. It is incredibly disheartening that politicians in the Florida House have voted to jeopardize programs that create opportunities for our families, visitors, military members and job creators. However, we will continue to fight for important economic development tools like Enterprise Florida and VISIT FLORIDA and the critical impact they have on supporting our growing economy.”

For the 59th consecutive month, Florida’s annual job growth rate of 3.3 percent is exceeding the nation’s rate of 1.8 percent. In the last year, 239,800 new jobs were created by businesses across the state. Florida’s unemployment rate remained low at 5 percent in February, while the labor force participation rate climbed to 59.8 percent. Florida’s labor force is growing at a rate of 3.1 percent over the year while the U.S. labor force is growing at a rate of 0.7 percent over the year.

Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, said, “Florida’s labor force is climbing more than four times faster than the nation’s and our labor force participation rate has risen over-the-year for eight consecutive months. This proves that Floridians are confident in their ability to land a good job here in Florida.”

Other positive economic indicators include:

  • Private-sector industries gaining the most jobs over-the-year in February were:
    • Professional and business services with 43,300 new jobs;
    • Trade, transportation and utilities with 42,000 new jobs;
    • Education and health services with 40,500 new jobs;
    • Leisure and hospitality with 40,300 new jobs; and
    • Construction with 34,700 new jobs.

  • Florida job postings showed 235,950 openings in February 2017.

  • In February, Florida’s 24 regional workforce boards reported 29,574 Floridians, including 1,413 veterans, were placed in jobs.

To view the February 2017 employment data visit


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