Sunday, April 22, 2018
Politics

PolitiFact tracks Rick Scott's jobs promise

It has been a few months since we've looked at Gov. Rick Scott's centerpiece promise to create 700,000 jobs over seven years.

While the most recent statistics show job creation moving in a positive direction, the pace is so sluggish that it still looks like it will be difficult for Scott to keep his word.

Scott promised during his campaign for governor to create 700,000 jobs in seven years as part of his signature plan to jump-start Florida's economy. The extra jobs were to be in addition to those jobs that economists predicted would be created no matter who was elected governor.

That would raise the bar to 1.7 million total jobs, or a little more than 20,000 jobs added per month, each month, for seven years.

PolitiFact Florida is tracking Scott's jobs promise and 56 others on our Scott-O-Meter, which ranks promises as Promise Kept, Promise Broken, Stalled or Compromise.

How's Scott done toward creating all those jobs?

Through Scott's first 20 months, Florida has added a total of 130,800 jobs, or about 6,540 jobs per month. If you exclude Scott's first month in office, the number dips to about 108,000 jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

August brought particularly good news. The state added more than 23,000 jobs — the second-highest month of job growth Scott has seen since taking office. The August figures, which are the most recent ones that are available, are preliminary and subject to revision.

"This increase in new jobs is proving that the decisions we're making here in Florida are pointing our state in the right direction," Scott said in a statement.

Still, for Scott, there's a long way to go.

For Scott to keep his word, Florida would need to add 26,000 jobs a month, every month, through 2017. The state has only done that once since Scott took office, in April 2011.

One note: Scott has since back-tracked on the condition that he would create jobs in addition to what economists predicted. We're holding him to his original promise at PolitiFact Florida, though even by his much easier target he is off schedule.

To just get to 700,000 jobs, Florida would still need to create about 9,500 jobs a month through 2017 instead of the 6,540 jobs a month the state is now generating.

In January, we first rated Scott's centerpiece promise as Stalled. There's nothing in the most recent numbers to change our opinion. This promise remains Stalled.

Aaron Sharockman can be reached at [email protected]

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