TALLAHASSEE, Florida - Florida's falling unemployment rate is not as good as it looks, according to a state jobs report.
The jobless rate has dropped from 9.9 percent in December to 8.6 percent. But the jobs report concludes the rate is declining because so many people are dropping out of the workforce, not because they're finding jobs.
The current unemployment rate of 8.6 percent would actually be 9.5 percent if you include discouraged workers who have given up looking for jobs. People who aren't actively looking for work are not included in the workforce.
The Florida AFL-CIO says the report shows Gov. Rick Scott's policies are not causing unemployment to drop, as he has argued. AFL-CIO spokesman Rich Templin believes Scott's policies, including the rejection of federal money for high-speed rail and Medicaid, have really cost the state tens of thousands of jobs.
"The governor's policies are absolutely failing. He will not meet his pledge of 700,000 new jobs in addition to normal economic growth and it also shows us that Florida desperately needs the jobs that would be created by the Obama administration's policies were they allowed to be enacted in the state of Florida."
Gov. Scott insists the falling unemployment rate shows Florida is moving in the right direction, but concedes there's still a long way to go.
The new report comes from the Legislature's Office of Economic and Demographic Research.