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Report: St. Johns County is Florida’s healthiest county

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A new report says St. Johns County near Jacksonville is the healthiest county in Florida, while Gadsden County in the Panhandle is ranked at the bottom. The report released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin compares health differences among counties. The variables used for the rankings include access to health care, health behaviors, such as diet and exercise, and social factors like a county’s unemployment rate. The Florida counties with the worst health prospects…

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Florida led nation in job growth in January

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Florida leads the nation in job growth according to new federal jobless reports. Florida’s unemployment rate dropped slightly to 5 percent in January according to state officials. That’s higher than the national jobless rate of 4.9 percent. But the state did add 32,200 jobs that month. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that this was the highest number of jobs added by any state in January. Texas was second with 31,400 jobs added. Gov. Rick Scott announced the new…

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Jesse Panuccio’s road to resignation paved with Senate’s hard feelings

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One of three Senate committee leaders set to review now-outgoing Department of Economic Opportunity chief Jesse Panuccio for confirmation next year didn’t say she was sorry to see him go. “I’ve already said too much about Mr. Panuccio,” state Sen. Nancy Detert, the Venice Republican in charge of the Commerce and Tourism Committee, said Friday. “I wish him well in his next job.” Panuccio is the 34-year-old magna cum laude Harvard Law grad picked by Gov. Rick Scott to run DEO…

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Rick Scott touts continued private-sector job growth in Florida

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Gov. Rick Scott said Monday that Florida’s private-sector job growth rate led the 10 most populous states and handily beat the national average last month. “For eight consecutive months, Florida has led all other large states in job growth, including our number one competitor Texas,” Scott said. “I look forward to working with the Legislature to cut $1 billion in taxes and create the Florida Enterprise Fund this year to diversify our economy so Florida can become first for job growth.” Bureau of Labor…

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Rick Scott proclaims ‘Workforce Development Month’ amid employment gains

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In a Tuesday news release, Gov. Rick Scott proclaimed September “Workforce Development Month,” patting the state’s economic development and employment agencies on the back. “The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and CareerSource Florida are committed to workforce training and providing employment assistance to the 9.5 million individuals who make up Florida’s labor force,” the announcement said. “People remain the most important asset of the Florida economy, and continued talent development allows Florida’s economy, and the job opportunities available within the state, to grow.” The…

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Tampa Bay region adds 31,000 jobs in past year, unemployment drops to 5.4%

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Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday that the Tampa area added 31,800 jobs between July 2014 and July 2015, causing a 1.1 percentage-point drop in the region’s unemployment. “With the second-highest number of jobs of all areas in the state last month, the Tampa economy continues to thrive,” Scott said in the announcement. “We will keep working to cut taxes and grow opportunities to make Florida the global destination for jobs.” The tourism industry added 14,400 jobs during the 12-month period…

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Florida leads big states in June job creation, Gov. Scott says

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Job growth in Florida leads the nation’s 10 most populous states. Gov. Rick Scott announced Wednesday the private-sector growth rate was 3.9 percent in June. According to the Scott administration, this is the fourth month in a row Florida has bested the other nine most populous states for the top job growth. “These positive economic trends show our pro-growth policies are working for Florida families. Florida continues to beat larger states in job growth rates, and we are leading the rest…

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