Scott Declares Victory Three Years Early But A Few Jobs Short

Dec 19, 2014

Florida Gov. Rick Scott
Credit State of Florida, Meredyth Hope Hall

In a bit of revisionist history, Florida Gov. Rick Scott is claiming victory in his efforts to create 700,000 jobs.  But the state’s job growth doesn’t quite meet Scott’s 2010 campaign promise.

Scott, or more specifically, his press office brags “We did it!” in a Friday press release.  Since December 2010, the state has added just over 715,000 jobs, and Scott’s administration says it has fulfilled its promise of 700,000 jobs in seven years.

And it did it three years early. 

The only problem is Scott originally claimed he would create these jobs over and above normal growth—projected at the time to be about 1 million jobs over a similar span.   He backpedaled on that later, and Department of Economic Opportunity Director Jesse Pannucio is sticking to the talking points.

“Well, I think what the governor talked about was 700,000 jobs in seven years,” Panuccio says, “and that is what we’ve seen now in four years.”

All that being said, job growth is ahead of schedule.  In 2010, state economists predicted Florida would add 1 million jobs by July 2018.  The state is nearly three-quarters of the way there, with three and half years to go.