Make us your home page
Instagram

Gov. Rick Scott talks up an economic comeback in Florida

ST. PETERSBURG — As Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney argued the nation's jobs market remained in crisis, Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday praised Tampa Bay's chief executives for helping turn the economy around.

"In the last 24 months, you have taken our unemployment rate from one of the highest in the country … to, you now have (250,000) to 300,000 job openings every month in this state," Scott said.

"Exports are up. Home prices are up. New home sales are up. Construction's going up. … We're winning all the awards now," he said. "What you have done by building businesses, you've changed people's lives."

Scott spoke at the Mahaffey Theater for a luncheon of the CEO Council of Tampa Bay. Council members must lead companies with more than 25 employees and revenue of more than $3 million.

Scott's speech marks only his latest divide from the less rosy take of presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who asserts that President Barack Obama's policies have kept the economy in tatters.

A report last week showed the nation's unemployment dropped to 7.8 percent, the first drop below 8 percent since early 2009.

And Florida's unemployment rate, 8.8 percent in August, has fallen faster over the past 21 months than any other state, a fact Scott has said gives "every reason to brag."

But Scott's message of triumph over unemployment, economists said, misses the biggest cause of that drop: thousands of prospective workers who stopped looking for work.

About 514,000 workers, more than half of Florida's unemployed, have been looking for jobs for six months or more, a Florida International University study released last month shows.

Scott left the downtown theater about 1 p.m. to travel to North Miami, where his schedule said he would announce a grant for teacher training.

The theater sits about a mile from the Renaissance Vinoy Resort, where vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan prepared this week to question the nation's economic strength during his debate Thursday against Vice President Joe Biden.

Gov. Rick Scott talks up an economic comeback in Florida 10/11/12 [Last modified: Thursday, October 11, 2012 8:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. PunditFact: George Will's comparison of tax preparers, firefighters based on outdated data

    Business

    The statement

    "America has more people employed as tax preparers (1.2 million) than as police and firefighters."

    George Will, July 12 in a column

    The ruling

    WASHINGTON - JANUARY 08: Conservative newspaper columnist George Will poses on the red carpet upon arrival at a salute to FOX News Channel's Brit Hume on January 8, 2009 in Washington, DC. Hume was honored for his 35 years in journalism. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
  2. Appointments at Shutts & Bowen and Tech Data highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Legal

    Retired U.S. Navy Commander Scott G. Johnson has joined Shutts & Bowen LLP in its Tampa office as a senior attorney in the firm's Government Contracts and Corporate Law Practice Groups. Johnson brings 15 years of legal experience and 24 years of naval service to his position. At Shutts, Scott will …

    United States Navy Commander (Retired) Scott G. Johnson joins Shutts & Bowen LLP in its Tampa office. [Company handout]
  3. Macy's chairman replaces ex-HSN head Grossman on National Retail Federation board

    Retail

    Terry Lundgren, chairman of Macy's Inc., will replace Weight Watchers CEO Mindy Grossman as chair of the National Retail Federation, the organization announced Wednesday. Grossman stepped down from her position following her move from leading St. Petersburg-based HSN to Weight Watchers.

    Weight Watchers CEO and former HSN chief Mindy Grossman is being replaced as chair of the National Retail Federation. [HSN Inc.]
  4. Unexpected weak quarter at MarineMax slashes boating retailer shares nearly 25 percent

    Business

    CLEARWATER — Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, a boating business leader issued a small craft warning.

    Bill McGill Jr., CEO of Clearwater's MarineMax, the country's biggest recreational boat retailer. [Courtesy of MarineMax]
  5. CapTrust moving headquarters to downtown Park Tower

    Corporate

    TAMPA — CAPTRUST Advisors, a Raleigh, N.C.-based investment consulting firm, is moving its Tampa offices into Park Tower. CapTrust's new space will be 10,500 square feet — the entirety of the 18th floor of the downtown building, which is scheduled to undergo a multi-million-dollar renovation by 2018.

    CAPTRUST Advisors' Tampa location is moving into Park Tower. Pictured is the current CapTrust location at 102 W. Whiting St. | [Times file photo]