DEO Press Releases

Setting the Record Straight: Rick's Recession

Dec 19, 2017

RICK SCOTT
Governor

CISSY PROCTOR
Executive Director

 

DEO MEMO

 

To: All Media

Re: Rick's Recession Website Full of Inaccurate and Misleading Information

 

If you plan to report on the political website, Rick’s Recession, please note that the site has compiled statistically inaccurate and misleading data that should not be used to accurately examine Florida’s job creation and economic turnaround under Governor Scott. Most importantly, the website relies heavily on data from 2007 – three years prior to Governor Scott taking office. Additional information compiled bythe Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO)is available below.

MYTH: “36 of Florida's 67 counties have lost jobs since 2007.”

FACTS:

Governor Scott took office in January 2011. Therefore, using data from 2007 is misleading. DEO will instead clarify statistics beginning with December 2010.

While it is completely inaccurate to claim that 36 Florida counties have lost jobs, it is even more important to recognize that this website chose to use misleading and statistically confusing information to reach its desired conclusion.

One such example is comparing the average number of employed people over a 12-month period to the exact number of employed people in a one-month period years later. It is statistically inappropriate to compare an annual average to one month in time, because this method eliminates the impact of seasonal job creation, which has a large role in Florida.

Every month, DEO reports the federal labor force and industry employment statistics, including the number of jobs created by the private sector across the state. The number of individual jobs created each month is a more reliable reflection of the business climate in each county. This number tell us whether or not businesses are creating jobs due to demand, especially considering that some Floridians work more than one job. While this monthly report also includes labor force statistics such as where individuals live and whether or not they are employed, it does not reflect where their job is located. As many Floridians choose to live in one county and work in another, using this information on its own, as the website chose to do, will paint an incomplete picture.

Since 2010, when Governor Scott took office, every single Florida county has experienced a drop in the unemployment rate. Florida’s unemployment rate is also the lowest in a decade and Florida has gained more than 1.44 million jobs since December 2010, proving that individuals in all counties who want a job are succeeding in finding jobs.

MYTH: Florida is still struggling to recover behind other states and is well behind other states and the rest of the country…”

FACTS:

This is completely inaccurate. Florida’s current unemployment rate is 3.6 percent, the lowest in more than a decade. The nation’s unemployment rate is 4.1 percent.

In October 2017, Florida’s annual job growth rate of 2.6 percent is also exceeding the nation’s rate of 1.6 percent. While Florida’s annual job growth rate in September dropped below the nation’s as a result of Hurricane Irma, Florida had previously exceeded the nation for 65 consecutive months.

The labor force in Florida also continues to grow faster than the nation. In October 2017, Florida’s over-the-year increase in the labor force of 2.2 percent beats the national increase of 0.5 percent. Since 2010, the Florida labor force growth outpaces the nation 9.0 percent to 4.4 percent.

In 2016, Florida had the fastest growth in real GDP of the ten most populous states and the over-the-year increase in real GDP of 2.4 percent beats the national increase of 1.5 percent.

MYTH: “While the national employment growth rate was 3 percent, Florida's was only 1.2 percent from 2007 to 2015.”

FACTS:

Once again, as Governor Scott took office in January 2011, using data from 2007 is misleading. DEO will instead clarify statistics beginning with December 2010.

Florida’s private-sector job growth rate since December 2010 is 23.7 percent compared to the national increase of 14.8 percent over the same time period.

MYTH: “Nearly half of Florida households (45 percent) qualify as working poor…”

FACTS:

The website manufactures its own definition of “working poor,” by combining two sources from articles and reports. This is misleading and completely outside the official definition of the federal U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which can be found here.

Click here for more information on the Florida Turnaround Story under Governor Rick Scott.

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