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Florida’s unemployment rate holds steady at 5%

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Florida’s unemployment rate held steady at 5 percent in February. This marks the second month in a row the state’s unemployment rate has been at 5 percent, and mirrors the unemployment rate the state experienced in the first two months of 2016, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The state added 239,800 jobs private sector jobs year-over-year in February. According to the DEO, the professional and business services industry added the most jobs — 43,000, or 3.4 percent increase…

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Florida’s unemployment rate ticks up to 5% in January

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Florida’s unemployment rate ticked up in January, reaching 5 percent for the first time in a year. The January unemployment rate marks a slight uptick from December, when state officials reported an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent. The statewide rate is higher than the national unemployment rate of 4.8 percent. Despite the increase in the unemployment rate, Gov. Rick Scott lauded private sector employers Monday for creating more than 50,000 jobs in January. The governor made the monthly jobs announcement…

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DEO “Cissysplains” economic incentives to Richard Corcoran

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Gov. Rick Scott has now sicced the Department of Economic Opportunity, headed by executive director Cissy Proctor, on the Florida House to take down its critique of economic incentives. A news release, issued late Tuesday, continues the cold war of words between the governor, an ardent supporter of incentives, and House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who has called them “corporate welfare.” The department’s response is reprinted below, unedited and in its entirety: Today, the Florida House of Representatives used data maintained by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO)…

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Fla. court says Uber drivers are independent contractors, not employees

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A Florida appellate court has ruled that a former Uber driver isn’t entitled to unemployment benefits because he was an independent contractor, not an employee. A unanimous three-judge panel of the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami ruled Wednesday for the Department of Economic Opportunity, the state’s jobs agency, against Darrin E. McGillis. The ruling is another win for the San Francisco-based ridebooking service, which is fighting a multi-state legal battle not to be considered an employer so it…

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Tampa Bay area led state in STEM job openings in December

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Looking for a STEM job? The Tampa Bay region is might just be the place to be. The Tampa area led the state in demand for high-skill, high-wage STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) occupations in December. The area had 14,673 openings in December, according to the Governor’s Office. The region also led the state in job demand during the one-month period, with 45,632 job openings. “Tampa businesses created 29,100 new jobs in 2016 and the area remains first in…

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Personnel note: Dean Izzo departs DEO for Capital City Consulting

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Dean Izzo, the Department of Economic Opportunity‘s chief of staff, is leaving the state’s jobs agency for a post at Capital City Consulting, the firm announced Wednesday. Izzo, who also has been chief financial officer and chief information officer for DEO, begins Jan. 30. He had been with the agency since its creation in 2011. “Dean will be a true asset to our current and future clients seeking partnership with the state and we are excited for him to join our growing…

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Florida’s economic development efforts are ‘underperforming’

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Florida’s state economic development efforts are “underperforming,” according to a new legislative report.   An undesirable label by any standard, critics and lawmakers already skeptical of providing taxpayer support for private businesses are likely to seize on the bureaucratic euphemism and underlying findings to bolster their anti-incentives position ahead of the March state legislative session. The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, a nonpartisan legislative research office, conducted a comprehensive review of Enterprise Florida Inc. and the Department of…

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