Thursday, August 16, 2018
Politics

PolitiFact Florida: Tracking Rick Scott's promise to create 700,000 jobs

Heading into the November general election, Gov. Rick Scott's promise to create more than 700,000 jobs in seven years has either suffered a hiccup or continues unabated, depending on your point of view.

July jobs numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show Florida lost 1,600 jobs last month — or gained 2,100, if you ask Scott. He has consistently ignored losses in government employment and touted private-sector growth. The state has lost 25,400 government jobs during Scott's term, U.S. Labor Department economist Timothy Ewing told PolitiFact Florida.

On Aug. 15, the day the most recent numbers were released, his office crowed about the state's private businesses adding 620,300 jobs since December 2010. It also noted the unemployment rate was down to 6.2 percent.

The Scott-O-Meter only counts jobs since Scott took office in January 2011, and is calculated using BLS numbers for seasonally adjusted, nonfarm work that includes changes in government employment. We put the total through July at 594,900, still short of the 700,000 goal.

Actually, that should be the 1.7 million goal. Scott's original 7-7-7 plan promised to create 700,000 jobs in addition to the 1 million jobs state economists predicted Florida would add by 2017, with or without policy changes in Tallahassee. We've previously noted that for Scott to make good on his promise, Florida would need to create 20,238 jobs a month, every month, for 84 straight months. In Scott's first 43 months in office, Florida created that many jobs in a month only 11 times.

One major snag in the upward climb was from April to May this year, when the state lost 17,200 jobs, the largest statewide drop in the United States, and the unemployment rate ticked up 0.1 percent. Economists said the change possibly reflected a late Easter and a cold winter, which brought tourists that inflated April leisure and hospitality payrolls. The drop was bookended with stronger than usual growth in April and June.

Economists revise these numbers each year based on census data pooled from payroll taxes, so the totals typically change as the picture becomes clearer.

Experts say it's hard to tell how much influence a governor has on the job creation process, and it may take years to find out whether policies have had any effect on job totals at all.

Scott is still a long way away from his stated target, but job creation does continue to climb. We continue to rate this promise In The Works.

Read more at PolitiFact.com/florida.

Comments
In Republican race for Pinellas County Commission seat, Rep. Kathleen Peters outpacing field

In Republican race for Pinellas County Commission seat, Rep. Kathleen Peters outpacing field

As the Aug. 28 primary election approaches, three Republicans are battling to represent a Pinellas County Commission district that hasn’t witnessed a competitive contest for more than 15 years.State Reps. Larry Ahern of Seminole and Kathleen Peters o...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Romano: Con artist or Florida politician? You decide

Romano: Con artist or Florida politician? You decide

Decorum matters, and so the attorney’s language was appropriately measured.In seeking to have a constitutional amendment thrown off the ballot, a motion filed in Leon County used words such as "misleading’’ and "ambiguity’’ and "wordsmithing.’’That’s...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Veteran Hernando politicians take oversized contributions, run afoul of campaign finance laws

Veteran Hernando politicians take oversized contributions, run afoul of campaign finance laws

BROOKSVILLE — With primary Election Day at the doorstep, two Republican candidates vying for seats on the Hernando County Commission found themselves in uncomfortable spots over potential filings with the Florida Commission on Ethics.And a third Repu...
Published: 08/15/18
Q&A: A Watergate trickster talks dirty politics, then and now

Q&A: A Watergate trickster talks dirty politics, then and now

CLEARWATERNearly half a century ago, Martin Kelly made the mistake of his life.He was a senior at the University of Miami when he decided to take part in what would become one of the most infamous political scandals in U.S. history: Watergate. He was...
Published: 08/15/18

Pasco Political Notebook for Aug. 17

Republican Club hosts candidate forum at meetingThe West Pasco Republican Club will host an "Election Extravaganza" candidate forum at its meeting Aug. 21 at Heritage Springs Country Club, 11345 Robert Trent Jones Parkway, Trinity. A social time will...
Published: 08/13/18
Updated: 08/15/18
Early voting in Pasco: Here’s what to remember when you head to the polls

Early voting in Pasco: Here’s what to remember when you head to the polls

Early voting Pasco County begins Saturday and runs through Aug. 25, with 11 locations across the county for voters.Polls are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 20-24, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug...
Published: 08/13/18
Largo election cancelled as incumbents stay with no opposition

Largo election cancelled as incumbents stay with no opposition

LARGO — There will be no suspense in the city when elections arrive Nov. 6. In fact, there will be no election at all, because all four city commissioners whose seats were up were re-elected by default when no one came forward by the end of the candi...
Published: 08/13/18
Florida candidate tried to prove she’s a college graduate. The school says her diploma is fake.

Florida candidate tried to prove she’s a college graduate. The school says her diploma is fake.

The political kerfuffle around Melissa Howard began when a news site reported that the Florida state House hopeful is not a college graduate, as she claims to be. To prove the story wrong, Howard, R, reportedly flew to her proclaimed alma mater, Ohio...
Published: 08/12/18
Romano: Two years later, politicians still ignoring Florida voters on medical marijuana

Romano: Two years later, politicians still ignoring Florida voters on medical marijuana

The war is over, except no one in Tallahassee has bothered to read the news.And so Florida continues its daft fight against medical marijuana. All of which means patients are being left behind, voters are getting ignored, and lawyers are buying fanci...
Published: 08/11/18
Hillsborough, tops in state for drug-addicted babies, will file suit against opioid makers

Hillsborough, tops in state for drug-addicted babies, will file suit against opioid makers

TAMPA — Hillsborough County plans to file a lawsuit next week against companies that manufacture opioid drugs, alleging that aggressive marketing of painkillers worsened the opioid crisis.The county joins a number of other local governments nationwid...
Published: 08/10/18