Governor Scott Highlights Economic Growth

Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metro area unemployment rate is the lowest in four years


Governor Rick Scott highlighted that the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford Metropolitan Statistical Area’s (MSA) unemployment rate continued declining to 7.6 percent in December 2012, a 2.0 percentage point decrease from the year ago rate and the lowest rate since November 2008. The area also ranked second among all 22 metro areas in nonagricultural job creation during the same time period. Since December 2010, the metro area’s unemployment rate has declined 3.3 percentage points from 10.9 percent.

Governor Rick Scott said, “We’re seeing continued economic growth in communities throughout the state, highlighted by an improving housing market and a decline in unemployment. I’m committed to recruiting new businesses to Florida and providing our state’s skilled and talented workforce with more opportunities to find employment, provide for their families and pursue the American dream.”

Senator David Simmons, Chair of the Seminole County Delegation, said, “It is clear that Florida is continuing to move in the right direction. Governor Scott has kept true to his promise of creating jobs and opportunities for Florida’s families.”

Metro Orlando EDC President & CEO Rick Weddle said, “We are extremely proud of the success our region has had in creating opportunities for our residents and businesses, and we are appreciative of the support from Governor Scott and our state partners. We have the lowest unemployment rate in four years, are experiencing significant job growth and our housing market is continuing to rebound. We look forward to continuing this positive momentum and identifying more ways that we can grow and diversify our region.”

The Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford MSA gained a total of 18,900 nonagricultural jobs over the year, leading all metro areas in job gains in leisure and hospitality (+7,500) and trade, transportation and utilities (+4,500). These data are not seasonally adjusted. The Orlando metro area experienced over the year gains in construction (+800 jobs), the fourth month Orlando showed job gains in construction following 68 consecutive months of losses.

Housing starts in the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford MSA increased by 46.7 percent in November 2012 (the latest available data) compared to a year ago, while over the month, housing starts were down by 22.2 percent.

Over the past year, Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties have all seen significant decreases in their unemployment rates. Osceola County led the way with a 2.4 percentage point decline, going from 11.0 percent to 8.6 percent. Lake County was second with a 2.3 percentage point drop, from 10.4 percent to 8.1 percent. Orange County’s rate dropped 2.0 percentage points from 9.5 percent to 7.5 percent and Seminole County’s rate went from 8.8 percent to 7.0 percent, a 1.8 percentage point drop.

Orange County also had the second-highest online job demand in Florida in December 2012 and ranked fourth in demand for STEM-related occupations in the state. STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and these jobs are considered high wage and high skill.

Also in December, Workforce Central Florida along with the state’s other 23 Regional Workforce Boards reported more than 42,000 Floridians were placed in jobs. An individual who receives employment and training assistance through a One-Stop Career Center and finds a job within 180 days is deemed a placement and may be reported by a regional workforce board. Of these individuals, 12,372 previously received Reemployment Assistance. In 2012, more than 426,000 Floridians were placed in jobs, with nearly 111,173 former claimants finding employment.

Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 8.0 percent for the month of December – down 0.1 percentage point from last month and the lowest since November 2008. The December 2012 rate was 1.9 percentage points lower than the year-ago rate of 9.9 percent. Since December 2010, the state’s unemployment rate has dropped 3.1 percentage points.

To view the December 2012 monthly employment data, visit:

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity combines the state’s economic, workforce and community development efforts. This new approach helps expedite economic development projects to fuel job creation in competitive communities. For more information, including valuable resources for employers and job seekers, please visit


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