Florida’s April Unemployment Rate Falls to 7.2% and Remains Below the National Average for Second Consecutive Month
Governor Rick Scott today announced Florida’s statewide unemployment rate for April 2013 was 7.2 percent, the lowest rate since September 2008. Down 0.3 percentage points from March’s rate of 7.5 percent, Florida’s unemployment rate continues to fall below the national average of 7.5 percent for April. Over the month, Florida added 16,700 private sectors jobs throughout the state.
Governor Scott said, “Florida’s families are getting back to work and our state’s economy is growing. With 16,700 new private sector jobs added last month and an unemployment rate that continues to decline, Florida is once again below the national average at 7.2 percent.
“Growing jobs is our top priority and this legislative session we eliminated barriers on manufacturers to ensure Florida is a top destination for manufacturing jobs. Just last week we also welcomed Hertz to Florida and are excited they have chosen to relocate their corporate headquarters to the Sunshine State. It is clear that our policies to create jobs for Florida families and attract new and expanding businesses to Florida is working.”
Since December 2010, Florida’s statewide unemployment rate has dropped nearly four percentage points, from a rate of 11.1 percent to April’s rate of 7.2 percent. In the same timeframe, the national unemployment rate has dropped 1.8 percentage points, demonstrating Florida’s improving economic climate continues to outpace the national recovery. Florida’s unemployment rate has now declined year-over-year for 30 consecutive months.
More Jobs Being Created
- With the addition of 16,700 private sector jobs over the month, Florida has experienced positive annual job growth now for 33 consecutive months. This adds up to 330,000 new private sector jobs created in Florida since December 2010.
- Florida job postings increased in April 2013 compared to the previous April by 7,977 (+3.2 percent), for a total of 255,567 openings (seasonally adjusted) according to the Help Wanted OnLine data series from the Conference Board.
- Florida’s job growth month-to-month has been positive for 21 of the last 22 months.
- Florida is expected to create more than 900,000 new jobs by 2018, according to the Florida Economic Estimating Conference.
- Job postings for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) occupations in Florida compiled by the Help Wanted OnLine data series from The Conference Board totaled 58,637 (seasonally adjusted) openings in April 2013. Over the year, STEM job postings were up by 3,842 openings (+7.0 percent) compared to April 2012. Over the month, STEM demand in April increased by 2,931 openings (+5.3 percent) from the 55,637 postings in March 2013.
Unemployment Continues to Decline
- Florida’s unemployment rate has now declined year-over-year for 30 consecutive months.
- Initial claims for Reemployment Assistance benefits were down by 10.1 percent from one year ago.
Home Sales Robust
- Home sales remain robust as the backlog of existing homes on the market is down by 33 percent from March 2012 (Florida Realtors).
- Florida housing starts were up over the year in March 2013 (the most recent month available) by 41.1 percent and median home prices were up 15.9 percent in March 2013 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. Florida also led the nation in migrations from Puerto Rico.
- 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.
Workforce Boards Assisting in Employment
- In April, Florida’s 24 Regional Workforce Boards reported more than 41,300 Floridians were 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, 11,457 previously received Reemployment Assistance.
- In 2012, more than 426,000 Floridians were placed in jobs, with nearly 111,173 former claimants finding employment.
Originally published April 28 ,2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida’s teachers are going to get a pay raise, but it won’t be coming until next year.
House and Senate budget negotiators finished their work late Sunday night. One of the last items agreed to was a pay raise package for the state’s teachers.
But the raise won’t take effect until June 2014. And it won’t be an across-the-board, $2,500 raise like Gov. Rick Scott initially recommended.
Instead, teachers ranked as effective will be eligible for a $2,500 pay raise, while those ranked as highly effective would be eligible for $3,500. Teacher performance would be linked to student achievement, but the final plan would be developed and approved by each school board across the state.
Scott issued a statement applauding the final deal reached by legislators, saying it should still lead to most teachers getting a raise.
“Our teachers are some of the best in the nation and they deserve to be rewarded for their great work,” Scott said.
Florida Education Association President Andy Ford also praised the deal because it means that additional money will be going to the state’s schools.
But House Democratic Leader Perry Thurston, D-Plantation, said the deal was a “slap in the face” to teachers because they will have to wait more than a year before they get the raise.
“That is really an insult that they have to wait until 2014,” said Thurston.
Lawmakers have set aside a total of $480 million for the raises, which would also be available to principals, assistant principals, librarians and guidance counselors. It’s part of an overall $1 billion increase for education that legislators set aside in the proposed $74 billion budget.
“This is an incredible win for the teachers and students of our state,” said House Speaker Will Weatherford in a statement.
Legislators worked through the entire weekend to finish up work on the budget. Some of the decisions that they reached – including a 3 percent tuition hike for college and university students – have been opposed by Scott.
Top Republicans, however, insisted that Scott should still be pleased with many of the spending items included in the final budget.
Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, contended that Scott had been a “constructive and strong partner.”
“Neither the House nor the Senate nor the governor won in these budget negotiations,” Gaetz said in a statement.
Legislators had to reach a final deal on the budget in order to end the session by May 3. State law requires that the budget be placed on the desk of lawmakers 72 hours before a final vote.
Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart and the Senate budget chief, said it’s possible that lawmakers could now vote on the budget a day earlier than expected.