In Florida more than 1-million people are out of work, the state's unemployment rate 12 percent. Although it's no higher than last month, it isn't going down and that's a problem for Gov. Rick Scott.
“For me, job creation is an absolute mission!” said Gov. Rick Scott.
Record unemployment. It's an issue that's catapulted Rick Scott from little-known outsider to governor of Florida. He's promising 700,000 new jobs, but with unemployment holding steady at 12 percent, even he admits making that happen will be quite the challenge.
“It's unacceptable that we have 12 percent unemployment, so we clearly have to focus on getting our state back to work, and that's what I ran on and what I'm going to do, so I'm going to continue working on it every day,” he said.
Now that Scott's in the governor's mansion, the pressure is on. His political standing is directly tied to the job market, and every month that goes by without dramatic improvement could spell trouble for a man who's pledged to get Florida back to work.
“I think the clock started for Governor Scott well before January 4.”
Dale Brill with the Florida Chamber of Commerce helped draft a report Scott's using as a blueprint for job creation. It's a plan he says will take time to implement.
“My observation is that Governor Scott doesn't need any more heat, that it's self-imposed, and that's where we as Floridians want to see it,” he said. “I think that the timing, though - you know, how fast does it take to turn things around - it's very, very complicated, but we should see steps before we see the trailing indicators.”
…Steps like cutting regulations and passing tax cuts.
The governor's already checked off a couple of boxes, but it could take months, if not years, to complete them all. Just how long the public's willing to give Scott the benefit of the doubt could depend n large measure on how high the unemployment rate is and for how long.
Scott continues to stand by his pledge to create 700,000 jobs over the next seven years in addition to the estimated 1-million jobs economists say will come with economic recovery.