While the current Florida unemployment numbers seemingly favor Gov. Rick Scott, Charlie Crist was also quick to point out the state’s disturbing job loss numbers.
“Rick Scott’s 1.7 million jobs promise is failing because he handed a billion dollars in corporate tax breaks to his buddies for almost no jobs while cutting education and training,” Crist campaign spokesperson Kevin Cate said in a statement released today.
In an announcement by the Department of Economic Opportunity Monday, Florida lost 2,600 jobs in January – especially in retail, hotels, restaurants and healthcare—even as unemployment rates continue to fall. The jobless rate dropped from an adjusted 6.3 percent in December to a low of 6.1 percent in January.
Unemployment rates and the numbers of jobs often do not align, partly because a separate assessment is used for each. Jobless numbers come from a household survey that measures people who say they either are working or are actively looking for a job. On the other hand, the number of jobs comes from employers.
Rick Scott immediately announced the word by posting on Twitter a link to a brief YouTube video. The clip shows the governor flaunting the unemployment drop to the lowest level since June 2008.
However, there was no mention of shrinking jobs.
“He is still desperately attempting to take credit for a recovery that’s more anemic than what the economy was already predicted to do on its own,” Cate said.
Another troubling statistic is employment in Florida’s teenage population.
The number of youths aged 16-and-up grew by 170,000 since January 2013, but their employment numbers over the same time only increased by 29,000.
Retirees, who often make up the difference in the labor pool gap, do not account for all of it.
Tampa Bay is also struggling, where 14,100 jobs were lost, and the local unemployment rate crept up to 6.5 percent from the December adjusted 6 percent. After a time as the statewide leader in job creation, Tampa Bay slipped to third, behind Orlando and Miami.
Compared to last year, though, the region is still up by 29,400 jobs.
Metro area figures, unlike state numbers, are not as reliable as a measure of economic health, because they are not adjusted for seasonal hiring, as is tourism and agriculture. That results in larger fluctuations more month to month.
Not seasonally adjusted, the numbers would be even more troubling, with a loss of 108,400 jobs monthly.