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Florida’s GOP Gov. Rick Scott has Rigged the Economy Against the Middle Class

Alex Constantine - February 20, 2014

What's Behind Rick Scott's Campaign Slogans? An Economy Rigged Against the Middle Class

Florida's middle class is struggling, but Rick Scott doesn't seem to notice.

Florida is a nationwide leader in the number of people who have been out of work for more than six months. Thousands of discouraged workers have dropped out of the labor force completely. According to Rick Scott's own experts, more than half of the drop in the unemployment rate is accounted for by jobseekers leaving the labor force. If Scott's policies hadn't forced Floridians to drop from the workforce, the state's unemployment rate would be 8.5%.

Rick Scott has spent an excess of $260 million on tax giveaways to special interests that promised to create jobs — but 96% of those jobs never materialized. The bulk of the new openings in Florida are low-wage jobs that won't help struggling Floridians rise to the middle class.

PolitiFact confirms that Rick Scott's boasts about Florida's recovering economy are "mostly false." Most Floridians know better than to trust campaign spin -- their confidence that the economy will improve has been lower than the national average for months.

"Scott  ... would rather give taxpayer handouts to wealthy special interests and the biggest corporations instead of fighting for Florida's middle class," says Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant.


Florida Ranks Second in the Nation for Long-term Unemployment. Florida ranks second among states with workers who have been unemployed for at least six months. (Orlando Sentinel, 2/8/14)

Gov. Scott is Annoyed by Questions about the State’s Unemployment Rate. "Florida’s long-term unemployment rate, however, has continued to rise in 2011, reaching record-high rates and making it number one among states," reads the FIU report. "No state has ever had a long-term unemployment rate as high as Florida’s, which was 53.0% in 2011." (Miami Herald, 9/18/2012)

Over Half of the Unemployment Drop is Due to Workers Leaving the Labor Force. Florida’s unemployment rate would be 8.5 percent if the number of people looking for work was at the same level as Jan. 2011 when Scott took office. '53.1 percent of the drop in the unemployment rate is due to people dropping out of the labor force or delaying entrance.' (Florida Times-Union, 2/3/2014)

Florida's Consumer Confidence Trails National Levels. (Tampa Bay Times, 1/28/2014)

Mostly False: Rick Scott Brags About Florida's Declining Unemployment Rate. Thousands of discouraged workers have given up on finding work in Florida.The shrinking workforce can be attributed to a number of factors, but the fact that Florida is last in the nation when it comes to long-term unemployment can’t be ignored. A major factor in the drop in unemployment is the exodus of people who have simply given up looking for work. Job creation, meanwhile, has been below-average. (PolitiFact, 9/13/2012)

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