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Jobless Rate Improves Amid Gov. Scott Warnings

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Governor Rick Scott has again warned lawmakers that Florida’s economic growth could be hindered by their actions as the state’s unemployment mark hit its lowest figure since September 2007.

The tentative jobless rate for April stood at 4.5 percent, down 0.3 percentage points from March, according to the state Department of Economic Opportunity.

The figures estimate there were 460,000 jobless Floridians in April, 25,000 fewer than a month earlier. The DEO also said the state’s workforce that has grown over the past year by 371,000 to 10.14 million.

But while pointing to the private sector growing by 15,000 jobs during the past month, Scott repeated his criticism of legislative decisions to reduce funding for tourism-marketer Visit Florida and to reject spending on business incentives through Enterprise Florida.

“Businesses and site selectors have taken notice of the Florida Legislature’s decision to turn their backs on the incredible return on investment economic-development programs like Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida have brought to our state,” Scott said in a release. “This is not only disappointing but could put our future job creation efforts at risk. Even though our private sector job growth rate is exceeding the nation’s, it is currently lower than it has been over the past year. This is something we cannot ignore. We cannot allow Florida to fall behind after our years of successful growth.”

Scott has made similar comments since the Legislature approved the $82.4 billion budget on May 8. He has veto power but hasn’t said what he will do when the spending plan (SB 2500) lands on his desk. The 2017-2018 fiscal year begins July 1.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

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