Gov. Rick Scott using job creation as re-election pitch

By Matt Horn, Reporter, Capitol News Service
Published On: Jan 31 2014 04:57:04 PM EST
Updated On: Jan 31 2014 05:15:03 PM EST
Charlie Crist and Rick Scott

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (left) and current Gov. Rick Scott

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

Gov. Rick Scott has used job creation as a re-election pitch against former Gov. Charlie Crist. A job growth report supports more jobs, but Scott isn't solely credited on the increase.

Florida continues to outpace most states in the country by adding private industry jobs.

"On a percentage basis, we're second in the entire country on job creation, only behind North Dakota," said Dr. Jerry Parrish, of Florida TaxWatch.

It's a re-election year and Scott is using the increase in jobs as his key pitch to be re-elected.

"Florida shed more than 800,000 jobs in the four years before I took office," said Scott. "Taxes increased, debt increased and the unemployment rate rose to 11.4 percent."

Florida's economy plummeted during former Republican-governor-turned-Democrat Crist's time in office. But, during Crist's time in office, the entire country was in the worst recession since the Great Depression.

"The notion that any one person brought that or any one governor certainly brought that on, it's just absurd, it's laughable," said Crist. "If they try to sell that to people, people are smarter than that."

A key factor in Florida's 2013 job growth is a direct reflection of other states across the country.

"One of the main things is record tourism," said Parrish. "We've had record tourism over the last couple of years and that contributes significantly to not only the economy, but to the state revenues as well."

The report shows the only sector to lose jobs was government at the state and federal levels, while local government continued to add jobs. Overall, 192,000 jobs were created in 2013.

Florida TaxWatch is reporting the highest increase per capita since 2005.

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