Numbers released Friday show Florida added more jobs than any other state in June. Gov. Rick Scott announced the creation of 36,900 private-sector jobs last month. The statewide unemployment rate dipped to 6.2 percent, down a tenth of a percent from May.
But for the first time since last spring, Florida’s unemployment rate is higher than the national rate. Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Jesse Panuccio says it’s important to look at the bigger picture.
“Again, looking at the long-term trend, what we see is declining unemployment for Florida,” he says. “From the height of the recession we were at 11.4 percent, now we’re at 6.2 percent. So, really this is something to still be celebrating in the state, that our unemployment rate continues to decline.”
The governor’s announcement comes after Florida lost 17,900 jobs in May, the largest decrease nationwide. But Panuccio says more people are joining the workforce, and Florida has seen a 2 percent increase in the labor force this year.
“Our GDP growth is higher, our rate of job increase is higher, our increase in job demand is higher,” he says, “and we think our unemployment rate will continue to decline over time, and we’re just going to stay the course and keep encouraging the private sector to grow.”