FL unemployment rate hits highest rate since 1975
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06/19/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday | Listen to this entire show:

The unemployment rate in Florida has now risen to over 10%, the highest recorded level in the state since 1975.

The official number is at 10.2 percent – that’s a half point higher than last month, nearly a full point higher than the national rate, and nearly 6 points higher than a year ago in Florida.

(roll tape#1 o.q.’of the nation”)

Housing starts remain down, but sales are up over the quarter and over a year. Rebecca Rust, Chief Economist with the Agency for Workforce Innovation, cautions that those numbers should not be misinterpreted.

Florida’s job losses are the 2nd most in the country in 2009, trailing only California.

Professional and business services have been hit hardest this year, followed by construction jobs, and then trade.

Leisure and hospitality and manufacturing sectors are also down from a year ago.

Earlier this year, the state forecast that unemployment would peak at 10.2 percent –which would mean the state could be bottoming out. But Rebecca Rust says she wouldn’t suggest that’s the case now.

Rust says the forecast from March said that the state could come out of the economic slump in the second half of next year, but again, that is subject to change.

The unemployment rate in the Tampa Bay Area is ranked even higher than the state, at 10.6%.

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How did we get here

Ok, let's see. Elect Jeb Bush for Governor twice, then let Charlie Crist ransack the Governor's mansion in a bid to run for the Senate and leave this state behind. Make sure our Education system is so bad that no sane company would want to have to fish for talent down here. Let's also have a community that acts like you can run a city and state without taxing the wealthy, and have an insurance policy that penalizes you harder than some idiot with beachfront property. Let's finish it off with a typical southern hostility to labor unions, and wages so low that the difference between the GED grad and a person who got a degree is meaningless, since both have a hard time making anything more than eight bucks an hour.