Governor Scott announces unemployment at 7.5% in March

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Governor Scott announces unemployment at 7.5% in March

By Julie Salomone. CREATED Apr 19, 2013

NAPLES, Fla.- Florida's unemployment rate has hit the lowest point in 4 years and Governor Rick Scott was in Southwest Florida talking about how to get it even lower.

Governor Scott says he's keeping his promise of getting Florida back to work.

" I ran on a campaign, getting the state back to work, 7 steps to 700,000 jobs over 7 years and we're nearly half way to 700,000 jobs and much faster than originally anticipated," said Governor Rick Scott.

Governor Scott toured Pelican Wire in Naples on Friday morning. The company relocated from Illinois to Naples in the 70s. It makes wires used for helicopters and medical devices and it was just named Southwest Florida Manufacturer of the year.

"Manufacturing from my perspective is critical building block to have a solid economy," said Ted Bill, President of Pelican Wire.

The Governor announced the latest job numbers for the state. He announced unemployment in March dropped to 7.5%, down from the February's 7.8%. He says it now below the national average.

"4 years before I became Governor, the state lost 832,000 jobs, unemployment went from 3.5 percent to 11.1 percent," said Scott.

The state saw 32,000 jobs created last month. So how does the Governor expect to keep unemployment on the decline? He says he is now working on getting sales tax removed on manufacturing equipment.

"Manufacturers when they have more money in their pockets, they hire more people, spend more money on marketing, spend more money."

Pelican Wire tells the Governor, they hit a rough patch around 2009 like many companies, but now have come full circle. The Governor acknowledged the company for playing a role in putting Floridians back to work.

Naples Mayor John Sorey also attended the Governor's visit on Friday at Pelican Wire.

Figures for counties in Southwest Florida are as follows:

                             March 2013        February 2013

Lee County              6.8%                    7.4%

Collier County         6.3%                    6.9%

Charlotte County     6.8%                   7.4%

DeSoto County        6.8%                   7.4%

Glades County        7.2%                   7.8%

Hendry County        10.0%                10.9%