Florida’s statewide unemployment rate continues to be lower than the national average as it has added jobs 22 months in a row, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced on Friday.

The Sunshine State is surpassing pre-pandemic rates in terms of economic growth, with the unemployment rate down to 3.3 percent — 0.5 percent lower than the nation’s. It has now been lower than the nation’s for 15 consecutive months. Further, Florida’s private sector added 52,000 jobs in February 2022 — 0.6 percent over last month.

DeSantis’s office reported the numbers:

There were 8,132,300 private sector jobs statewide in February 2022, an increase of 525,200 jobs, or 6.9 percent, over the year. The national over-the-year rate of increase was 5.2 percent in February 2022. Florida’s over-the-year private sector job growth rate has exceeded the nation’s for 11 consecutive months since April 2021.

Additionally:

  • Between February 2021 and February 2022, Florida’s labor force grew by 324,000, or 3.2 percent faster than the national labor force growth rate of 2.3% over the year.
  • Florida’s total private employment grew by 52,000 (0.6%) over the month, faster than the national rate of 0.5.
  • Between February 2021 and February 2022, total private employment grew by 525,200 jobs (6.9%). This was faster than the national private sector job growth rate of 5.2 percent over the same time period.
  • As of February 2022, Florida employers have added jobs for 22 consecutive months since May 2020. Florida’s private sector over-the-year job growth rate has exceeded the nation’s for 11 consecutive months since April 2020.

The governor credited the economic growth to “Florida’s freedom first policies,” making it a “great state for businesses and families to grow.”

“When you put freedom first, you put hardworking families first, and every Floridian reaps the benefits,” he said. “February’s economic data is more concrete evidence that Florida is on the right path.”

This announcement comes on the heels of Florida experiencing the highest level of domestic travel — nearly 118 million visitors — in 2021 as Americans fled lockdown states. Tourism exceeded pre-pandemic levels, as both Q3 and Q4 bested the figures from 2019.

“In Q4 alone, Florida saw 30.9 million visitors — seven percent higher than 2019’s levels. As a result of this historic influx of visitors, hotel revenues reached their highest record ever in 2021, totaling $17.3 billion,” as  News detailed.

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