Friday, December 19th, 2014

Rick Scott halfway to jobs promise? Not so fast

Gov. Rick Scott says he's halfway to his goal of creating 700,000 jobs, but it isn't that simple.
Gov. Rick Scott says he's halfway to his goal of creating 700,000 jobs, but it isn't that simple.

Gov. Rick Scott celebrated Florida adding 34,500 private-sector jobs in July (really, 27,600 net jobs, counting public-sector job losses) by reprising his favorite new one-liner.

"We are more than halfway to our goal of creating 700,000 jobs in seven years," Scott said in a Aug. 16 statement.

PolitiFact Florida has visited this topic many times, most recently when Scott used a similar version of the talking point as he signed the 2013-14 state budget in May. We rated the claim Mostly False then. It’s still Mostly False today. Here’s why:

The statement is only correct if you consider the measuring stick he wants you to use since taking office -- not the one he promised Florida voters he’d use while campaigning in 2010.

For the record, it is accurate to say the state has added about 350,000 jobs since Scott took office. But the talking point falls off the rails because Scott said on the campaign trail that the jobs he would create would come on top of the state’s normal job growth, projected then to be about 1 million jobs by 2017. So, Scott told reporters his seven-step jobs plan would add 700,000 jobs on top of that.

(This is ignoring, for the sake of argument, whether Scott deserves credit for creating the jobs in the first place.)

We are tracking Scott’s jobs promise on the Scott-O-Meter and plan to update it when the federal government releases its Florida data. Currently, the promise is rated Stalled.

By the way, the state’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.1 percent.