Florida's governor takes credit for dropping unemployment rate

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Gov. Rick Scott was in Orange County on Monday talking about more new jobs, something he's been quick to take credit for, claiming 282,000 jobs have been created since he took office.

Scott is also up for re-election, so Channel 9's Nancy Alvarez wanted to know how much job creation was actually his doing.

Crystal Ellis was laid off from her job at a local hotel months ago. Alvarez found her at a Workforce Central Florida office on Monday, feeling frustrated.

"It's really hard. There's nothing out there right now," said Ellis.

But that's not what the governor said.

"The unemployment rate is now down to 7.8 percent for January of this year," Scott said as he toured a Mitsubishi plant in south Orange County Monday.

Scott toured the plant and shared a series of numbers.

Seven-point-eight percent is Florida's lowest unemployment rate since November of 2008. The state has fallen below the national average for the first time in five years.

Scott said 280,000 private sector jobs have been added since he became governor. He said the federal government could learn a thing or two from Florida.

"We've cut taxes, we paid down debt, we said we like businesses, we've cut regulations, we've streamlined permitting. The federal government should be doing the same exact thing," said Scott.

The governor's own press release points out analysts expect Florida to create 900,000 jobs by 2018. But he rejected the idea that the job creation could be natural economic growth. He said it's proof his policies are working. Ellis is not convinced.

"If he's got a bunch of opportunities for us to work there's a million people in that door looking for a job," said Ellis.