Welcome to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s website.  Here, you will find information about workforce programscommunity development opportunitiesand economic development initiatives and programs.

More than three years ago, DEO became a new state agency. The three distinct agencies that originally formed DEO have melded into a single culture pursuing a unified mission of helping Florida’s economy and communities prosper. Through a variety of agency-wide initiatives, we have strengthened the ties between economic, community, and workforce programs, while streamlining agency operations.

In December, Florida became the third most populous state in the nation. According to the U.S. Census, Florida’s population has increased to 19.9 million people, now ahead of New York. Around 800 people are moving to Florida every day – what a great result of the state’s economic recovery! Florida’s economic indicators also continue to outpace New York, the nation, and most of the ten most populous states.

In December, we learned that the state has added more than 715,000 private-sector jobs since December 2010 as of November. The state’s unemployment rate in November was down to 5.8 percent, job openings reached an all-time high, and the labor force continues to grow. Florida’s economy is resurgent and I look forward to these trends continuing in 2015 as we continue to implement pro-growth, business-friendly policies.

While there is much to be proud of, there is still much work to be done. We must continue to promote sound policy and pursue growth opportunities. Governor Scott, the Department of Economic Opportunity, and all of our state and regional partners are committed to ensuring our state’s economy continues to improve for Florida’s families.

Please contact us with questions, comments, and ideas.  Thank you for visiting.

Jesse Panuccio
Executive Director
Department of Economic Opportunity


Jesse Panuccio is the Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). He was appointed to this post by Governor Rick Scott in January 2013. As director of DEO, Panuccio coordinates and manages statewide workforce programs, community development opportunities, and economic development initiatives.

Panuccio oversees the department’s 1,600 employees and $1 billion budget. During his tenure, the agency has implemented state-of-the-art fraud safeguards for unemployment insurance, streamlined the economic development incentive process, and launched the Competitive Florida Partnership to bring hands-on assistance and economic development to the state’s rural counties.

Prior to his appointment at DEO, Panuccio served as the General Counsel to Governor Scott, where he managed the legal affairs and staff of the Governor’s office, helped direct and coordinate litigation and legal policy across state agencies, advised the Governor on judicial nominations, and served as the Governor’s chief ethics officer.

Before joining the Scott Administration, Panuccio practiced law with the Washington D.C-based law firm of Cooper & Kirk PLLC. He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School and his bachelor’s degree from Duke University.

An equal opportunity employer/program.  Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
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