Floridas economy not getting any better
caines | 10/4/2012, 5:30 a.m.
Governor Scott is now bragging that the Florida economy is rebounding and the picture is sunny. On his weekly radio address he recently said that in August, we found 28,000 more private-sector jobs and the economy is on the mend. He added that housing prices in the state have been rising in recent months and the stock market has held on to the gains made in the last two years. The University of Florida has just released a survey that says Floridians are feeling better about the economy. Since Scott has taken office in the last 20 months, the unemployment rate fell faster in Florida than in any other state. But in the Black community very few residents are talking about all the work they are finding nor are they proclaiming how great the last 20 months have been. The unemployment rate in the Black community is hovering at 16 percent with Black youth unemployment rate at 30 percent. In certain cities in Florida, I would not be surprised to find the Black male unemployment rate at 50 percent. Many economists dont share Scotts sunny perspective. They believe that much of the governors great unemployment numbers are due to a shrinking Florida workforce. The decline in the labor force is due to Floridians giving up looking for a job and departing from the workforce. Thousands of minorities in the state are dropping from the unemployment rolls and they are not being counted. As a result of the Great Recession, people are taking whatever kind of job they can get to pay their bills. Floridians are underemployed, families are working extra jobs and their homes are still going into foreclosure. Florida is the second state in the country with the highest rate of foreclosures leading me to wonder who was sampled in that survey. Florida ranks last in the nation when it comes to long-term unemployment and more of the 816,000 jobless have been looking for work for six months or more a national record. Scott says that in 20 months he has created 150,000 jobs but the Office of Economic and Demographic Research says in the last 12 months only 69,000 jobs have been created. He is bragging about the success he has had but it seems he only see part of the picture. Floridas economy is suffering as are both the minority and middle class communities. There is an economic storm brewing in Florida and the State may be unable to pay its bills. The residents in the State may find that we are in deeper debt and that the governor was not telling the truth. Roger Caldwell is the CEO of On Point Media Group in Orlando.By Roger Caldwelljet38@bellsouth.net