Gov. Scott fires back at critical job loss coverage

December 8, 2013 

“Florida’s economy has added more than 440,000 private sector jobs since Governor Scott took office. This number already backs out jobs employers reduced over the same period of time. An analysis that only reports reduced jobs without reporting on Florida’s net job growth fails to accurately reflect the state’s growing economy.”– Melissa Sellers, communications irector, Gov. Rick Scott MYTH: “It is a tale about the tens of thousands of private-sector jobs lost in Florida since Scott took office in January 2011.” FACT: The Herald ignores the 440,900 private-sector jobs created between December 2010 and October 2013 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the same time frame, Florida’s unemployment rate dropped 4.4 percentage points, and hundreds of thousands of Floridians found jobs. MYTH: “A loss of 1,097,092 total private-sector jobs between January 2011 and December 2012, according to the online research site youreconomy.org, which measures job growth using numbers complied by the U.S. Department of Labor and Dun & Bradstreet.” FACT: The Times/Herald ignores all job gains. According to the same youreconomy.org study used by the Times/Herald, Florida gained 1,288,157 jobs. MYTH: ”The untold chapter in Gov. Rick Scott’s jobs story: the thousands of lost jobs in every sector and region of the state. FACT: The Times/Herald ignores job gains in every region in Florida. FACT: Fort Lauderdale’s economy is growing. · The Fort Lauderdale metro area’s unemployment rate in October 2013, 5.3%, was the third lowest in the state. · In October 2013, the Fort Lauderdale metro area added the most jobs of all the state’s metro areas in financial activities with 2,900 new jobs over the year. FACT: Jacksonville’s economy is growing. · The Jacksonville MSA was among the top five metro areas for job growth in 2013. It created 13,500 new private sector jobs over the year. · In October 2013, the Jacksonville MSA was among the top five metros in Florida for online job demand with 24,765 openings and also ranked fifth for STEM job openings with 4,714 job ads. FACT: Miami’s economy is growing. · In October 2013, the Miami metro area was among the top four metro areas in Florida for gains over the year in trade, transportation, and utilities, in leisure and hospitality, financial activities, and information. · The Miami metro area had the third-highest online job demand in Florida in October 2013 with 35,106 openings and had the third-highest number of openings for STEM occupations in October 2013 with 7,445 online ads. FACT: Naples’ economy is growing. · The Naples/Marco Island MSA had the fastest annual job growth rate in total nonagricultural employment in October 2013, as well as in professional and business services (+10.4 percent over the year), education and health services (+9.4 percent over the year), and other services (+7.4 percent over the year). · The Naples-Marco Island MSA showed a 21 percent increase in online job demand compared to a year ago in October 2013, with 5,055 job openings. There were 566 openings for STEM occupations in October 2013, an increase of 18.9 percent over the year. FACT: Ocala’s Economy is growing. · Marion County’s unemployment rate has fallen 1.8 percentage points over the last year and is now down to 7.3 percent. · In fact, this year, Forbes Magazine ranked Ocala 5th in the country for future job growth. FACT: Orlando’s economy is growing. · The Orlando Area added 29,100 new jobs over the year. · The Orlando MSA’s unemployment rate declined by 1.8 percentage points over the year, from 7.8 percent in October 2012 to 6.0 percent in October 2013. · Orlando was also among the top two metro areas in education and health services growth with 4,400 new jobs and financial activities with 2,300 new jobs over the year. · The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey for the fourth quarter of 2013 indicates that Orlando area employers expect to continue hiring at a brisk pace. FACT: Pensacola’s economy is growing. · The Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) has experienced 16 consecutive months of positive annual job growth, with an increase of 2,800 private sector jobs over the year in October 2013. · The unemployment rate in the Pensacola metro area declined by 1.5 percentage points over the year, from 7.4 percent in October 2012 to 5.9 percent in October 2013. · The Pensacola metro area showed a 10 percent increase in online job demand in October 2013 compared to a year ago, with 5,451 job openings. There were 888 openings for STEM occupations in the metro area in October 2013. FACT: Tampa Bay’s economy is growing. · The area gained the highest number of jobs over the year in October 2013. Of the 39,800 new jobs added in the region, 6,400 were construction jobs and 1,100 were manufacturing jobs. · The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey for the fourth quarter of 2013 indicates that Tampa Bay area employers expect to continue hiring at an active pace. · Twenty-four percent of the companies interviewed plan to hire more employees. · The area’s net hiring outlook is increased both from the previous quarter and the previous year. FACT: West Palm Beach’s economy is growing · Palm Beach metro area’s unemployment rate declined over the year to 6.7 percent in October 2013. The area also added 12,600 new jobs over the year. · In October 2013, the West Palm Beach metro area was among the top three metro areas in Florida for gains over the year in education and health services, and other services. · In October 2013, the West Palm Beach metro area ranked sixth in the state for online job demand with 19,033 job openings. The metro area also ranked sixth for demand for STEM occupations with 4,026 openings. MYTH: “…and in St. Petersburg, the British defense and aerospace supplier Cobham closed its St. Petersburg plant, laying off 141.” FACT: According to a 2009 article, the Tampa Bay Times cites “federal cutbacks in defense,” for the plant’s closure. MYTH: “At Swisher International, the nation’s largest cigar manufacturer is laying off 250 workers as the company transfers jobs from Jacksonville to the Dominican Republic.” FACT: According to the Florida Times Union, Swisher International CEO Joe Augustus cites a 2009 excise tax increase on tobacco products as a major reason for job losses. MYTH: “June Wolfe of the South Florida Manufacturers Association said the state's manufacturing deficit is in part a result of the state's lack of skilled talent. ‘On any given day in Florida, 4,500 to 5,000 manufacturing jobs go unfilled because of the lack of skill,’ she said. ‘And many existing companies are being lured away by other states.” FACT: According to June Wolfe in an October article in the Sun Sentinel, “South Florida already has the largest manufacturing base in the state, and with three ports the region is in a strong position to attract new manufacturers and spur the construction of warehouses.” MYTH: “But more than 5,300 of the lost jobs came from manufacturing industries, a sector economic development officials want to attract because of its job advancement potential and salary growth.” FACT: More than 18,000 manufacturing companies employ more than 311,000 Floridians. In a November 2013 Tampa Bay Times article, the paper cited a 2 percent rebound in Florida manufacturing employment from 2010. FACT: Manufacturing business leaders applauded Governor Scott’s elimination of the sales tax on manufacturing equipment, and his commitment to growing Florida’s manufacturing industry. · David Pitts, President of Plastic Coated Papers Inc. in Pensacola, said, “Last year, my company, Plastic Coated Papers Inc., took advantage of Florida's limited exemption on sales tax to purchase about $850,000 worth of manufacturing equipment – saving us close to $60,000 in taxes. We were able to buy a new press that kept us competitive and protected the 39 full-time jobs we have created, as well as the $17 million in gross sales that helps fuel the Pensacola economy.

“To the folks in our neck of the woods, that was a pretty big deal, but it is really just the tip of the iceberg. Gov. Rick Scott has made it a top priority this year to expand this sales tax exemption statewide. Eliminating the sales tax on manufacturing equipment through Senate Bill 518 and House Bill 391 –sponsored by Sen. Dorothy Hukill and Rep. MaryLynn Magar – will continue to reduce operating costs and encourage Florida's manufacturers to made additional capital investments and create more jobs.

· Catherine Barre, President of Parametric Solutions Inc. in Jupiter, said, “PSI is in the process of adding additional manufacturing, instrumentation and assembly equipment to our Florida facility. The elimination of the Florida manufacturing equipment tax will enable PSI to add additional capabilities and jobs to the Florida economy. Thank you to Governor Scott!”

· Richard Sweat, President and CEO of .decimal in Sanford, said, “Without a doubt, this sales tax relief for manufacturers can make all the difference in helping companies like .decimal be more competitive in our markets, help us hire and train employees on the newest technologies, and also positively impact our local governments through increased tangible property taxes. Companies, citizens, and communities all win.”

· Ed Ostan, Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Plasma-Therm in St. Petersburg, said, “Additional revenue that would be created through tax cuts could be channeled to our R&D budget and in turn, create jobs even faster than we can today. It will allow us to re-invest a large percentage of our revenue each year in research for the development of new products. This development enables us to be competitive in the global market and fosters continued growth. As we grow, jobs are created in manufacturing, science, engineering and finance.”

· Harry Arnon, President, Hernon, Inc. in Sanford, said, “Governor Scott’s Florida equipment sales tax elimination will allow Hernon to forecast hiring of additional personnel instead of paying this sum as a tax for the equipment we intend to purchase. We will be delighted to pay for increase productivity which in the long run will benefit us all.” · Geary Havran, FMMC Chairman, and President and CEO of NDH Medical, Inc., said, “Florida’s medical manufacturers are big winners this session! We would like to thank Governor Scott, and House and Senate leadership for championing and passing legislation fully exempting manufacturing equipment from Florida’s sales tax. By no longer taxing the inputs to production, Florida will create a pure business climate that encourages capital investment, retooling and job growth in our industry.” · Andrew Malcolm, President, Advanced Protection Technologies in Clearwater, said, "I applaud Governor Scott for his support and efforts to eliminate the unfair tax burden on Florida manufacturers. Elimination of this tax will help Florida manufacturers grow, compete worldwide and create jobs." · Dick Peck, President, QTM Inc. in Oldsmar, said, "I applaud Governor Scott for never giving up on the Florida Sales Exemption for Manufacturing of machinery and equipment. This is a great day for Florida Manufacturers. This will give all manufacturers in Florida and manufactures looking to relocate, the ability to grow their businesses. In manufacturing, this mean jobs." · Patrick A Stallings, President Saint George Industries, LLC in Hialeah, said, “This is another important step in the continuing effort by Florida to encourage growth and attract new manufacturing investment in Florida. With this change, manufacturers in Florida will have more resources to invest in equipment and expansion, increasing jobs and helping to build our economy. Manufacturers outside of Florida will have every reason to take advantage of Florida’s great people, growing infrastructure, supportive business climate, and strategic position as a center for expanding international trade. The elimination of another roadblock to investment in manufacturing equipment and infrastructure is a green light to increased employment and economic growth.” · Roy Sweatman, President of Southern Manufacturing Technologies, Inc. in Tampa, said, “SMT is a precision custom manufacturer located in Tampa. We utilize very expensive CNC machine tools to produce components for the aircraft, aerospace and defense industries. We compete globally and I applaud Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature for their wisdom in eliminating the sales tax on equipment. This helps level the playing field as most of my competitors already do not pay sales tax on equipment. By being more competitive, we now have a greater chance to expand and add to the 110 employees we have in Tampa.” · Greg Bennett, President & CEO TurboCombustor Technology in Stuart, said, “Our Florida-based manufacturing firm will greatly benefit from this approved legislation, allowing the savings to create further investment and new Job opportunities within our Florida Facilities.” · Robert Chandler, Director, Lake County Economic Development and Tourism, said, “This is a great day for the manufacturing industry in Florida and especially Lake County. Removal of the tax on manufacturing equipment will provide much needed relief to Lake County’s many manufacturing companies who have been looking to grow. In Lake County, we are committed to growing our manufacturing base and the removal of the tax will play a critical role in helping us achieve that mission. This is a valuable tool in our economic development toolkit and makes the entire State substantially more attractive to companies looking to relocate. We want to thank the Governor for his leadership and dedication in making Florida a more attractive location for manufacturers.” · Jayne Fifer, President and CEO, Volusia Manufacturers Association, said, “We are thrilled that the manufacturing equipment sales tax exemption passed. We worked very hard to get it done. It will mean growth for our manufacturers and will attract manufacturers to our great state, which will help us all grow!” · Sherry Reeves, Executive Director, Manufacturers Association of Central Florida, said, “Florida has taken a giant step forward by eliminating this burdensome tax – and I applaud Governor Scott for pushing forward on a smart proposal that will create jobs and opportunities for central Florida’s manufacturers.”

· Jerry Custin, President, Upper Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce, said, "I applaud Governor Scott for his persistent effort for the passage of legislation eliminating the state sales tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment. There is no doubt that this is a great victory for Florida manufacturers and will continue to help grow jobs in Florida. We especially expect to feel the benefits in the Tampa Bay area due to the density of the manufacturing sector we enjoy." · Beth Kigel, CEO, NPBC Chamber of Commerce, said, “Eliminating the sales tax on manufacturing equipment is a huge win for Florida. It’s very clear that Governor Scott is focused on reviving Florida’s economy and more importantly, that it’s working; the unemployment numbers show it, real estate prices show it, and this tax elimination is further evidence that this Governor means business.” · Eric Silagy, President of Florida Power & Light Co. said, “Our company knows that when Florida thrives, we all win, and in this spirit, we applaud the Governor’s leadership and Legislature’s commitment to lowering taxes to make Florida even more competitive. Manufacturers employ thousands of Floridians and can drive broad economic growth. When products ranging from tabletops to turbines are being built here in Florida, it’s good news for every one of us who call this state home. ”

· Nancy Stephens, Executive Director of the Manufacturing Association of Florida said, “This past Legislative session was a great success. The manufacturing equipment sales tax exemption that our companies are receiving is tremendous. There are over 310,000 Floridians being employed in the manufacturing industry and that number will only continue to grow. It’s thanks to Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature for realizing how impactful the manufacturing industry is on Florida. I look forward to seeing our companies continue to create more and more jobs for Floridians throughout the state.”

· Thomas Feeney, III, President and CEO of the Associated Industries of Florida said, "As a key foundational base for the economic engine of our nation and state, manufacturing is increasingly opening doors to new economic and job opportunities. With recent measures, such as the elimination of sales tax on the purchase of manufacturing equipment and machinery championed by Gov. Scott and passage of the Manufacturing Competitiveness Act, Florida is well positioned to reap the benefits of manufacturing’s renewed vigor. Gov. Scott and our state lawmakers understand the value this industry has and the potential it offers our state. As the state affiliate for the National Association of Manufacturers, Associated Industries of Florida stands with Gov. Scott in celebrating National Manufacturing Day and we look forward to working with him to ensure shop floors across Florida have the people and policies they need to succeed.”

· David Hart, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber of Commerce said, “With more than 17,500 manufacturing companies employing more than 300,000 Floridians, our state’s manufacturing industry plays a significant role in Florida’s economy. The Florida Chamber of Commerce salutes Florida’s manufacturing industry and their efforts to provide the products, equipment and items we use every day.”

· Bill Herrle, NFIB/FL Executive Director said, "Florida manufacturers large and small have benefited from Governor Scott's business friendly policies, including the tax break on manufacturing equipment - policies that go a long way to level the playing field with other states, increase incentives for small businesses to hire workers and continue to improve Florida's economy."

· Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce said, “The state of Florida took a major step forward in making our state more competitive. For far too long, Florida has been at a competitive disadvantage by being the only state on the Atlantic seaboard and on the Gulf coast to charge sales taxes on manufacturing equipment. As Florida’s trade and logistics industry grows, and as we are poised to take advantage of the expansion of the Panama Canal, lifting the manufacturing and equipment sales tax will help ensure Florida is prepared to take full advantage of these new opportunities, to double Florida-origin exports in the years to come, and to create more high-skill, high-wage manufacturing jobs.”

· Doug Wheeler, President & CEO, Florida Ports Council said, “Increasing manufacturing in the state of Florida is key to growing exports and increasing the high-paying, stable jobs available around the state. The Florida Ports Council is grateful for the vision and commitment by Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature in making sure that our economy continues to grow and succeed.”

· Bill Johnson, chairman of the Florida Ports Council and Port Director of PortMiami said, “Speaking on behalf of the Florida Ports Council and as Director of PortMiami, I would thank the Governor and Florida Legislature for their work on this important issue. Eliminating the manufacturing machinery and equipment sales tax, provides a powerful incentive for increased manufacturing in our state and will help create much needed jobs. Growing manufacturing in Florida is vital to increasing international trade and commerce. For seaports, this is not only about the inbound cargo containers. We also need to fill the outbound containers if we are to realize our goal to make Florida a major logistics hub and compete in the global marketplace. We can only do this by increasing our manufacturing sector, thereby boosting export opportunities.”

· Roy Schleicher, JAXPORT CEO said, “Increasing the manufacturing of Florida goods will support efforts to grow exports and international trade in our state. With JAXPORT’s exceptional connections to global trade lanes, manufacturers can already get their goods quickly to market. In order to attract more manufacturing, adopting this legislation will eliminate unnecessary obstacles to their success so we fully achieve our mission of providing jobs and opportunity for Florida citizens.”

· Wayne Stubbs, Port director of Port Panama City said, “Florida’s modern ports combined with a positive business climate is a winning combination. Governor Scott’s initiative to eliminate sales tax for investments in manufacturing equipment will help us all attract new manufacturing jobs to our communities.”

· Clyde E. Mathis, Port director of Port of Pensacola said, “The Florida Ports community is greatly appreciative of Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature’s hard work on passing and signing into law the sales tax emption on manufacturing machinery and equipment. This effort will result in increased manufacturing across Florida and an increase in our participation in exporting goods to the global economy. Florida’s ports have prepared our infrastructure system.”

· Manny Almira, Port Director of Port of Palm Beach said, “There is no doubt that the ports in Florida will benefit from an increase in manufacturing in our state. We are confident that the elimination of the sales tax on manufacturing equipment passed by the Florida Legislature and championed by Governor Rick Scott will ultimately help the Port of Palm Beach and all of Florida’s ports.”

· Peter Bartolotta, Executive Director, and a board member of the North Port Economic Development Corporation said, “Manufacturing is key to helping Florida’s economy move forward and we saw a victory today in the Florida Legislature with the passage of Governor Scott’s priority to eliminate barriers on manufacturers.”

· Kelly Smallridge, CEO, Business Development Board of Palm Beach County said, “The elimination of the tax on manufacturing equipment is a huge win for Florida. This will give businesses the ability to invest in their companies and employees, which means we’ll generate more jobs and opportunities for Florida’s economy. The Governor and the Legislature deserve a lot of credit for passing this smart initiative.”

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