Florida’s Unemployment Rate Drops to its Lowest Point in Almost Four Years

Rate of 8.5 percent is the lowest since 2008; More than 12,000 private sector jobs created

TALLAHASSEE— Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 8.5 percent for the month of October, the lowest since December 2008. The state also experienced positive job growth of 12,100 new private sector jobs, while the October 2012 rate was 1.7 percentage points lower than the year-ago rate of 10.2 percent. Since December 2010, the state’s unemployment rate has dropped 2.6 percentage points and 174,500 private sector jobs have been created.

“In October, 12,100 more Floridians found employment in the private sector and the incomes that allow them to provide for their families, particularly with the holidays approaching,” said Governor Rick Scott. “We are creating an environment that fosters job creation, economic development and provides a skilled workforce. My number one goal is to create jobs for Florida families and get this state back to work. There is still more work that needs to be done, but I’m confident we’re on the right path.”

More Jobs Being Created

·         Florida has experienced positive annual job growth now for 27 consecutive months.

·         Florida’s job growth month-to-month has been positive for 13 of the last 16 months.

·         Florida is expected to create more than 900,000 new jobs by 2018, according to the Florida Economic Estimating Conference.

·         Florida job postings increased sharply in October 2012 compared to the previous October by 28,140 (an increase of 11.9 percent), for a total of 264,636 openings (seasonally adjusted) according to the Help Wanted OnLine data series from the Conference Board.

Economic Growth Trends Up Across State

·         The University of Florida’s Consumer Confidence Index reported that optimism among Floridians remained near a post-recession high in October. The Index reports that Floridians’ positive outlook is holding consistently at or near a five year high.

·         More people are moving into Florida. Net in-migration is up (more people moving into Florida than moving away) to an estimated 134,500 in 2012 – almost doubling 2011 in-migration of 68,000.

·         Florida housing starts were up over the year in September (the most recent month available) by 29.3 percent and median home prices were up 7.4 percent over the year.

·         Home sales remain robust as the backlog of existing homes on the market is down by 40 percent from September 2011 (Florida Realtors).

·         Florida is running a trade surplus of over $24 billion – with $86.8 billion in exports and $62.4 billion in imports in 2011, up from $73.1 billion in exports in 2010 and $53.2 billion in imports in 2010.

Unemployment Continues to Decline

·         Florida’s unemployment rate has now declined year over year for 23 consecutive months.

·         Initial claims for Reemployment Assistance benefits were down by 12.4 percent from one year ago while continued claims were down from an average of 553,000 in December 2010 to 293,268 in October 2012, a 47 percent decrease.

Workforce Boards Assisting in Employment

·         In October, the state’s 24 Regional Workforce Boards reported a record of more than 50,423 Floridians placed in jobs.

·         An individual who receives employment and training assistance through a One-Stop Career Center and finds a job within 180 days is deemed a placement and may be reported by a regional workforce board. Of these individuals, 15,078 previously received Reemployment Assistance. Since January, more than 337,000 Floridians were placed in jobs, with nearly 85,000 former claimants finding employment.

“The collaborative efforts between DEO and our workforce partners across the state continue to produce positive results in both finding opportunities for job seekers and providing them the resources they need to be successful in their new positions,” said Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Hunting F. Deutsch. “We are always looking for new and innovative ways to put Floridians back to work and provide a skilled and talented workforce to every employer interested in moving, expanding or starting their business in Florida.”

To view the October 2012 monthly employment data visit:


The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity combines the state’s economic, workforce and community development efforts. This new approach helps expedite economic development projects to fuel job creation in competitive communities. For more information, including valuable resources for employers and job seekers, please visit www.floridajobs.org