Florida Unemployment Rate Drops to 6.7 Percent

Friday, Nov 22, 2013  |  Updated 11:54 AM EDT
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Feds Asking Florida To Make It Easier for Some People To Get Unemployment Checks

AP

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Governor Confident He Can Meet Job Creation Promise

A day before President Barack Obama visits PortMiami, Florida Gov. Rick Scott was in town and sat down for an interview with NBC 6 anchor Jackie Nespral. He touted his job creation accomplishments, saying they matter more than a recent poll that showed he'd lose a re-election matchup against his predecessor, Charlie Crist.

Feds Asking Florida To Make It Easier for Some People To Get Unemployment Checks

The state of Florida has changed the process you have to go through to get unemployment benefits and now the federal government says the state needs to take a second look at those changes. The feds are asking the state to make it easier for some people to get their unemployment checks. Maria Orellana, who hit a roadblock when she applied for unemployment benefits, attorney Valory Greenfield with the nonprofit organization Florida Legal Services, Jesse Panuccio, the executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, and Ludnel St-Preux, the deputy director of the community organization Sant La, discussed the unemployment process.
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After a bumpy summer, there are signs that the state's economic recovery is picking up once again.

Florida released new jobless numbers Friday that showed that the state's unemployment rate had dropped to 6.7 percent in October. It was 7 percent in August.

This is the lowest the state's unemployment rate has been since August 2008 — right before the height of the financial crisis. The state's rate is also below the national average of 7.3 percent.

And federal statistics show that Florida had the largest growth in the overall number of jobs last month. Florida added nearly 45,000 jobs, followed closely by California.

Gov. Rick Scott, who has made the state's economic fortunes the centerpiece of his re-election strategy, boasted about the numbers. Scott in the past has maintained that his push to slash the state's budget and modest tax cuts have aided in job creation.

"We don't just want a state where job creation reaches a certain number, or unemployment falls to a certain number," Scott said in a statement. "We want to create an opportunity economy. We want a state with dynamic, growing industries that will create jobs and careers for generations to come."

State economists this summer released an analysis that showed one reason for Florida's unemployment decline since Scott took office — people were leaving the labor force or had delayed their job search.

In August, the state had actually lost nearly 5,000 jobs after months of positive job growth.

But the October numbers show not only a large jump in job growth a larger work force.

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