On Friday morning, Gov. Rick Scott announced that the unemployment rate in Florida stood at 3.5 percent in September, the lowest it has been since February 2007. When Scott took over in January 2011, the unemployment rate in Florida stood at 10.8 percent.
The state added 16,900 new private sector jobs in September as Florida continued to see its unemployment rate stay below the national average which stood at 3.7 percent last month.
Scott, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., in next month’s general election, weighed in on the new statistics on Friday.
“Today, Florida’s unemployment rate has reached its lowest point since February 2007 – this is great news for Florida families,” Scott said. “While our state responds and recovers from the devastation of Hurricane Michael, I know that we will rebuild stronger than before. I will never stop working until every family in the Panhandle has recovered from this storm, and I will keep fighting to make sure that every Floridian has the opportunity to get a great job.”
More than 407,000 new jobs have been created in Florida over the past year with the leisure and hospitality representing more than a quarter of them with 105,200 new jobs, followed by construction with 70,700 jobs, professional and business services with 66,700 jobs, education and health services with 58,600 jobs and trade, transportation, and utilities.
Okaloosa County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.3 percent, followed by St.
Johns County, Walton County and Monroe County which 2.4 percent each. Hendry County had the highest unemployment rate at 6.6 percent followed by Hardee County at 4.8 percent and Citrus County and Sumter County at 4.3 percent each.
Kevin Derby can be reached at Kevin.Derby@floridadaily.com.