Florida’s unemployment rate dropped slightly last month, falling to 4.3 percent during the month of May.
Gov. Rick Scott made the announcement in Orlando Friday morning.
Florida's unemployment rate now matches the national unemployment rate, which was also 4.3 percent last month.
On top of a falling unemployment rate, the Sunshine State added 22,000 private-sector jobs during the month of May. The governor’s office has touted the private-sector job growth numbers as an indicator Florida is on the right path when it comes to getting people back to work.
According to the governor’s office, Florida’s annual private-sector job growth rate has exceeded the nation’s rate for 62 consecutive months.
“I am proud to announce that Florida’s unemployment rate has dropped to a nearly 10-year low and that nearly 22,000 jobs were created across our state last month,” said Scott.
The professional and business services industry saw the most job gains during the month of May, adding nearly 53,000 jobs, followed by the leisure and hospitality industry and education and health services.
Scott pointed to a recently-passed, $85 million economic incentive program, the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, as another reason why Florida would continue lead the way on job growth in the nation.
“This flexible, transparent economic development program will promote public infrastructure and individual job training in order to encourage more businesses to grow and invest in our state,” he said. “Florida has had a lot of success, and I appreciate the Florida Legislature for supporting important investments like the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund so we can make Florida the best place for families and job creators to succeed for future generations.”
Monroe County boasted the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.7 percent, followed by St. Johns and Okaloosa Counties, which had unemployment rates of 3 and 3.1 percent, respectively.
Hendry County had the highest unemployment rate at 6.6 percent, followed by Sumter County (5.9 percent) and Citrus County (5.6 percent).
Jobs have been a key aspect of Scott’s tenure as governor. He has largely built his campaigns on getting Floridians back to work following the Economic Recession and jobs will undoubtedly be a large theme of his rumored campaign for the U.S. Senate next year.
Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, said May’s numbers were a good sign for Florida families.
“Since December 2010, more than 1.37 million Floridians have found private-sector employment, meaning job seekers are finding good jobs that provide for their families,” she said. “Our impressive job growth and business-friendly climate has helped Florida establish itself as a national leader in job creation.”