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FL Economy Doesn't Feel As Strong As It Looks

David Sawyer via Flickr

Florida’s unemployment rate keeps improving but new results from the Sunshine State Survey suggest the vast majority of Florida households are still concerned about money.

University of South Florida political scientist Susan MacManus says more than 70 percent of respondents report financial stress in their households, and that colors their views of state and local government.

“They are making tough pragmatic choices in their own lives,” MacManus says, “but they look at government and they see it as just the opposite—very wasteful.”

The survey found a majority of respondents see state and local government spending as wasteful. 

On the issue of economic development, the number of Floridians who want to attract out-of-state companies falls just short of those who prefer supporting existing Florida businesses.

Florida Governor Rick Scott makes a point of traveling to other states to boost employment, most recently visiting New York and Kentucky in hopes of bringing new job listings home with him.  

MacManus says many Floridians support these efforts, but a plurality want the focus to stay within state borders.

“45 percent think you should put a higher priority on keeping existing businesses,” MacManus says, “but 43 percent prefer efforts to attract new businesses into the area.”

The USF School of Public Affairs partners with the Nielsen Company to conduct the annual poll.