In the first quarter of 2023, the state of Florida maintained its near record-low unemployment numbers at 2.6% for the fourth consecutive month. The unemployment figures come in at number one among the ten largest states in the union, according to Governor Ron DeSantis's (R-FL) press release.
As Gov. DeSantis's staff insinuates, a driving force for the low unemployment numbers is attributed to the skyrocketing tourism and vacationers coming to the Sunshine State. Between January and March, 37.9 million visitors – Florida’s most in a quarter ever – made their way down the Suwannee River.
“Through strong economic policy and strategic investments, Florida is outperforming the nation and providing more opportunity for its citizens, resulting in more than 200,000 new business formations this year alone and an unemployment rate near an all-time low,” said Gov. DeSantis. “In Florida, we are combatting negative national economic headwinds by promoting policies that support Florida businesses and families and attract record numbers of tourists every day.”
From April 2022 to April 2023, Florida saw a 4.1% increase in private sector employment (an addition of 336,200 jobs), 1.4% higher than the national average during that period. Florida employers have added jobs for 35 months straight since May 2020, according to the press release.
“Florida’s low unemployment rate of 2.6 percent – the lowest among the top 10 largest states in the nation – is a testament to Governor DeSantis’ bold leadership,” said Meredith Ivey, Acting Secretary of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). “Governor DeSantis’ Freedom First policies are helping Florida businesses continue to create jobs and Floridians feel confident in the meaningful job opportunities available to them, ensuring the economic prosperity of the great state of Florida and its residents.”
When it comes to tourism, the VISIT FLORIDA President and CEO offered his thoughts on the numbers concerning the swath of visitors, tourists, and eventual future residents that the Sunshine State is experiencing.
“The Q1 estimates show that 2023 is on track to continue Florida’s outstanding performance in welcoming visitors,” said Dana Young, VISIT FLORIDA President, and CEO. “Each quarter shows that Florida is the most sought-after destination for visitors and we are excited to continue our efforts in welcoming more throughout the year. VISIT FLORIDA is proud of the work we have done with our partners in sharing Florida’s sunshine with the world and we thank Governor DeSantis for his unwavering support of our organization and the tourism industry.”
DeSantis recently signed the controversial “Let Kids Be Kids” package as he gears up for a presidential run.