Hey, the Florida unemployment numbers are in for July, and -- oh no! What's this? A rise? We haven't seen one of these in 12 months.
Yes, Florida's unemployment rate rose from 8.6 percent in June to 8.8 percent in July, the first increase after a steady stream of declines in the past 12 months.
The state lost 3,300 jobs in July. According to the Florida Department of Economic Outlook, jobs related to financial activities and professional and technical services took the biggest hit.
All in all, 816,000 Floridians in the work force are out of a job. The good news, however, is that the unemployment rate is 1.8 percent lower than it was a year ago.
In Miami-Dade, unemployment rate took a dip. It was 9.9 percent in July, and 10.3 percent in June.
Mitt Romney's presidential campaign took the news of Florida's unemployment bump to attack President Obama. From a Romeny camp statement released to The Buzz:
The Florida unemployment rate rose from 8.6% to 8.8% in July, as the state lost another 3,300 jobs. More than 800,000 Floridians remain jobless, 42 months after Barack Obama and Charlie Crist stood on stage in Ft. Myers and promised spending money we could not afford would lower the unemployment rate.
Of course, the infamous meeting of Obama and Crist (which lead to "the hug") took place in February 2009 when the unemployment rate was 9.4 percent. So, the rate has fallen by 0.6 percent since then.
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We also doubt Gov. Rick Scott is pleased with the Romney campaign dumping all over Florida's economy. While signaling that Florida's unemployment is struggling under Barack Obama is key to Romney's chances of winning the state, Scott desperately needs to show that things in Florida are improving if he has any chance of securing a second chance.
We can only imagine that this highly dramatized made-up meeting between Scott and Romney will take place:
Scott: Bro, can you stop saying Florida's economy is shitty? It's totally better under me. I gotta win reelection in two years. Just say something like, "Look, if Florida is improving under a Republican Governor, just think how much better it will be under a Republican President."
Romney: Uh, as a Mormon I don't swear, but you have about a snowball's chance in H-E-Double-Hockey Sticks of winning reelection. Just be quiet, let me do my thing, and take one for the team.
Scott: Oh, so you want Charlie Crist to turn Dem and defeat me?
Romeny: I mean, just between you and me, as a former really, really moderate Republican governor myself, Crist isn't that bad of a guy. Hell, compared to my record in Massachusetts, Crist was practically a Tea Partier.
Scott: Yeah, well, just see how much help I give you on the campaign trail. I'll completely ignore you.
Romney: That would be great actually. You're political poison. In fact, can you just leave? I don't want anyone to see you talking to me. Thanks. Bye.
Scott: Hug before I go?
Romney: Honestly, I'd rather hug Obama.