Gov. Scott: Nearly Twenty Thousand New Jobs Means Real Results for Families



TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — On June 15, 2018, Governor Rick Scott announced that Florida businesses have created 19,000 private-sector jobs in May and 179,000 in the past year, for a total of 1,539,800 jobs since December 2010. Florida’s annual job growth rate has outpaced the nation for 73 of the past 74 months. The only month that Florida did not exceed the nation was due to Hurricane Irma. In May, Florida’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent, a drop of 7.0 percentage points since December 2010; this drop is faster than the national decline of 5.5 percentage points.


Governor Scott said, “Florida’s growing economy is producing real results for families across our state. Every month, private-sector businesses are adding jobs, dropping our unemployment, making it easier for every Floridian to find great work. When I became Governor, I set out to create an environment where our private sector could flourish – and that remains my focus as we continue to outpace the nation. It’s clear – cutting taxes and investing in what matters to families works, and the rest of the country should take notice.”


Florida’s annual job growth rate of 2.4 percent continues to exceed the nation’s rate of 1.9 percent. In the past year, 124,000 people entered Florida’s labor force, a growth of 1.2 percent, which is greater than the national labor force growth rate of 1.1 percent.


Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, said, “Florida’s economy is thriving under Governor Scott’s leadership and through our efforts to grow and attract businesses. Our talented workforce and quality infrastructure support continued economic prosperity in the Sunshine State. Since 2010, more than 1.5 million jobs have been created showing the nation that Florida is the best state in the nation to live the American Dream.”


Other positive economic indicators include:

  • Private-sector industries gaining the most jobs over-the-year were:
    • Professional and business services with 39,200 new jobs;
    • Leisure and hospitality with 37,200 new jobs;
    • Construction with 31,300 new jobs;
    • Education and health services with 24,500 new jobs; and
    • Financial activities with 17,200 new jobs.
  • Florida job postings showed 242,546 openings in May 2018.
  • Consumer Sentiment is 100.6, up from 70.2 in 2010.

To view the May 2018 employment data visit 


Florida Chamber President Provides Hurricane Irma Economic Outlook During Testimony Before Senate Commerce Committee


Read Testimony   Fight AOB Fraud    Local Chamber Relief Fund


In a testimony before the Florida Senate Commerce Committee, Florida Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Mark Wilson told lawmakers that Florida will rebound from Irma.

During his remarks to the committee, which is chaired by Senator Bill Montford (D-Tallahassee), Wilson encouraged lawmakers to focus on continuous improvement and to join forces with the private sector to help secure Florida’s future.  Click here to read Wilson’s testimony.

Irma yielded the largest evacuation in U.S. history, and as Wilson explained, there’s no question we’ll learn lessons from this storm. From an economic outlook perspective, Wilson testified that:

  • Tax revenue likely won’t keep up with storm expenses,
  • Job growth will continue to slow,
  • A gap in skilled labor – particularly for home repairs and rebuilding – will hurt in the short-term, and
  • Lawsuit chasers, as highlighted in the Wall Street Journal, “are trying to milk the public’s pain for their own gain.” Wilson encouraged lawmakers to side with consumers in frivolous class action claims.

Looking forward, he applauded state leaders for making smart public policy decisions to reduce exposure and spread risk in Citizens Property Insurance and Florida’s CAT Fund. However, he warned that the tsunami of assignment of benefit-related claims that have flooded the market – unrelated to Hurricane Irma – are causing property insurance rates to skyrocket. He encouraged lawmakers to make meaningful reforms this session.

Wilson was joined on the panel by partners in Florida’s business community, including:

  • Cissy Proctor, Executive Director, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
  • Ken Lawson, President & CEO, VISIT FLORIDA
  • Michelle Dennard, President and CEO, CareerSource Florida
  • Cheryl Kirby, Associate State Director, Florida SBDC
  • Lance Lozano, Chief Operating Officer, Florida United Business Association


Call on the Legislature to Fight AOB Fraud

Fight back against the growing storm of assignment of benefits fraud. Sign the petition and call on the Legislature to stop this “Category 5 hurricane.”


Support Local Chambers in Need

Support local chambers in need of relief following Hurricane Irma by contributing to the Florida Chamber Local Chamber Relief Fund.

Cissy Proctor Talks to Members of the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council


The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council held its monthly conference call on April 24. Thank you to those of you who were able join us on the call. We appreciated the opportunity to keep small business leaders like you informed on issues impacting Florida’s small business community. During the call Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, provided an update on Florida’s job growth for January, February and March. Director Proctor also shared that Florida’s job growth outpaced the nation six times over.

Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist for the Florida Chamber Foundation, provided an overview of the Florida Chamber’s Q2 Small Business Index Survey results, which shows Florida job creators increasingly concerned about workforce quality and government regulations. Dr. Parrish also shared that fewer small businesses have confidence that Florida’s business climate is headed in the right direction.

We also heard from Frank Walker, Vice President of Governmental Affairs, who shared that there is still a lot of uncertainty as it relates to the 2017 Legislative Session, especially in regards to the passage of next fiscal year’s budget. Mr. Walker provided an update on key legislation including prejudgement interest, workers’ comp reform and Assignment of benefits (AOB), as well as the passage of the Florida Chamber-Backed Ridesharing Legislation which embraces innovation, strengthens job growth and provides ridesharing opportunities for Floridians and the 112+ million annual visitors to Florida.


Mark Your Calendar: Next Conference Call is May 22, 2017

Small businesses are important to Florida’s growing economy. Please mark your calendars for our next conference call on May 22 at 1:30 p.m. Do not miss this opportunity to join the discussion and make your voice heard. For more information on the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council or becoming a member of the Florida Chamber, please contact Carolyn Johnson at (850) 521-1235.

Future of Florida’s Defense Industry and Workforce Discussed at Military, Defense & Veterans Summit

Florida’s Workforce, Defense Industries and BRAC were Focus of  Military, Defense & Veterans Opportunities Summit

The Florida Chamber Foundation recently hosted the 2016 Military, Defense & Veterans Opportunities Summit that attracted some of Florida’s most influential leaders to discuss the Future of Florida’s economy and the role our military and defense industries and veterans population play in securing Florida’s future. During the summit, participants heard from business, military and elected leaders from around Florida and  discussed how to resolve some of today’s challenges and take advantage of future opportunities.

To illustrate the important economic impact of the defense industry and Florida’s veterans, the Florida Chamber Foundation released a new Florida Wins video. Florida’s military and defense industry helps employ nearly 775,000 Floridians to work each year and contributes almost $80 billion to our economy.

“The military and defense industry is a pillar of Florida’s economy, improving economic prosperity and providing jobs for thousands of Floridians,” said AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES COMMISSIONER ADAM PUTNAM, a keynote speaker at the Summit. “Florida continues to be at the forefront of new innovations and technology, attracting both the companies and talent needed to grow this industry.”

Jeffrey Cathey, Senior Military Affairs Executive for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, and Glen Sutphin, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs discussed how important veterans’ military experience is to closing the skills gap and building a trained workforce that can enhance Florida’s ability to attract businesses who are considering moving to or expanding into Florida.
Visit the Military, Defense & Veterans Opportunities webpage to view videos of portions of the Summit.

We will continue this discussion at the Future of Florida Forum, taking place September 28-30 in Orlando.  Register today to join the conversation.

Summit Focuses on Protecting, Growing and Supporting Florida’s Defense Industry, Military and Veterans Workforce

State Leaders Gather at Florida Chamber Foundation’s Annual Military, Defense and Veterans Opportunity Summit


ST. PETERSBURG, FL (August 17, 2016) – Governor Rick Scott will join military and defense industry experts and elected officials at the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Military, Defense and Veterans Opportunities Summit in St. Petersburg today to discuss the opportunities and challenges in Florida’s military economy and leveraging veteran’s expertise and skills.

It is estimated that every Florida business is located within 100 miles of a military installation, making Florida one of the most strategically important states for the U.S. armed forces and a pivotal location for military personnel, defense industry innovations and veterans.

“Florida’s military and defense industry puts nearly 775,000 Floridians to work each year and contributes almost $80 billion to our economy,” said TONY CARVAJAL, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber Foundation. “However, Florida is expected to experience significant demographic, political and economic shifts throughout the next 15 years that will need to be addressed in order to support our veterans and bring more high-wage, high-skill jobs to Florida’s workforce.”

Today’s event will feature a lineup of experts including:

  • Governor Rick Scott
  • Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam
  • Congressman Gus Bilirakis
  • Senator Jeff Brandes
  • Representative Paul Renner
  • Representative Jimmie Smith
  • Cissy Proctor, Executive Director, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
  • Glenn Sutphin, Executive Director, Florida Department of Veteran Affairs

“The military and defense industry is a pillar of Florida’s economy, improving economic prosperity and providing jobs for thousands of Floridians,” said COMMISSIONER PUTNAM. “Florida continues to be at the forefront of new innovations and technology, attracting both the companies and talent needed to grow this industry.”

Additional items for discussion will include BRAC and sequestration, federal issues, veteran leadership and the future of military, defense and homeland security industries.

In addition to the day-long conference discussions, a new animated online video, entitled Florida Leads in Military, Defense and Homeland Security Industry, will be released.

Follow the Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2016 Military, Defense & Veterans Opportunities Summit on Twitter using the hashtag #IsFLReady.