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Robert Trigaux

Leadership Florida survey: Demand for more jobs soars but few say state leaders can deliver



IloveFloridabumpersticker Wake up and good morning. There's some interesting perspective about Florida and its economy tucked in the recently released Leadership Florida/Nielsen Company's 2010 Sunshine State Survey. While Leadership Florida, a group promoting statewide perspectives, focused in a press release about Floridians "overwhelmingly" believing "their home state is a good place to live" and are "welcoming out of state friends and relatives to become their neighbors," less Pollyanna findings in the survey seem much more relevant to Florida's current economic predicament.

Floridabumpersticksaveflaputyankeeonabus For example, the survey also found an astonishingly high 85 percent disapproval rating of the state government’s effectiveness in creating jobs. It's so high, it begs some questions. Do Floridians find Tallahassee so completely handcuffed by budget shortfalls that job creation is impossible" Or is this simply a widespread perception of the state's lack of economic competence? Let's look a bit closer.

In Leadership Florida's Sunshine State Survey of 2008, here's how people responded to the question: How good a job does the state do in creating jobs?

Excellent: 0 percent
Good: 16 percent
Fair: 30 percent
Poor:  41 percent
Don't know: 13 percent

The same question was asked in the 2010 survey. Here's the breakdown of responses:

Excellent: 1.5 percent
Good: 9.4 percent
Fair: 34.2 percent
Poor:  50.9 percent
Don't know: 4 percent

So, in 2010, 85 percent gave the state fair or poor marks for job creation, while only 71 percent did so in 2008. I would not make such a big deal over this except the numbers were bad enough two years ago and have escalated sharply since then.

Here are three other highlights from the survey that did not get much attention:

1. Are you seriously considering moving out of state? In 2010, 17.3 percent said yes, down from 22 percent in 2008.

2. Of those who said yes to moving out of state, the survey asked them: Why? In 2010, 21.6 percent cited "quality of life or want a change" while only 13 percent said the same in 2008 (when "cost of living" was a bigger reason).

3. What are the first and second most important issues facing Florida today? In 2010, 43.7 percent said "economy and jobs" was No. 1 and 19.4 percent said "economy and jobs" was No. 2, for a combined 63.1 percent. In 2008, 56 percent said "economy and jobs" was No. 1 and 11 percent said it was No. 2, for a combined 67 percent.

Here is the complete Leadership Florida/Nielsen survey.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:27am]


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