Governor Scott Announces Florida Unemployment Rate Down to 8.0 Percent, Lowest Rate in Four Years

Jan 18, 2013

January 18, 2013


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MIAMI — 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. 


More Jobs Being Created

  • 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.


Home Sales Robust

  • Home sales remain robust as the backlog of existing homes on the market is down by 41 percent from November 2011 (Florida Realtors).
  • Florida housing starts were up over the year in November (the most recent month available) by 48.8 percent and median home prices were up 11.2 percent over the year.


Economic Growth Trends Up Across State

  • A recent U.S. Census Survey reported that Florida experienced an influx of people moving into the state, with two of the top ten single destination moves, New York-to-Florida (+59,288) and Georgia-to-Florida migrations (+38,658). Florida also led the nation in migrations from Puerto Rico with a net total of almost 15,000.
  • Florida is running a trade surplus of over $24 billion – with $86.8 billion in exports and $62.4 billion in imports in 2011, up from $73.1 billion in exports in 2010 and $53.2 billion in imports in 2010.


Consumer Confidence High

  • Consumer confidence in Florida is near a five-year high, according to the University of Florida’s Consumer Confidence Index.


Workforce Boards Assisting in Employment

  • In December, the state’s 24 Regional Workforce Boards reported more than 42,000 Floridians placed in jobs. 
  • An individual who receives employment and training assistance through a One-Stop Career Center and finds a job within 180 days is deemed a placement and may be reported by a regional workforce board. Of these individuals, 12,372 previously received Reemployment Assistance. More than 426,000 Floridians were placed in jobs in 2012, with 111,173 former claimants finding employment.


To view the December 2012 monthly employment data visit:

Background on Labor Market Estimates

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity combines the state’s economic, workforce and community development efforts. This new approach helps expedite economic development projects to fuel job creation in competitive communities. For more information, including valuable resources for employers and job seekers, please visit



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