WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference on Friday at a Retro Fitness in West Palm Beach, where he spoke favorably of the state’s latest jobs numbers and economic growth.
“In April alone, Florida added another 57,000 jobs, and so that’s an increase of 0.7% which is twice the rate of increase of the nation as a whole and that includes almost $20,000 in leisure and hospitality industry and over 12,000 jobs in trade, transportation and utilities,” DeSantis said. “Our unemployment rate in the state of Florida is now 3%, which is far below the national average of 3.6%, and our unemployment rate has been lower than the national average for 17 consecutive months.”
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Addressing Florida’s economy, Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle claimed the state’s GDP is among the world’s richest.
“If you put Florida alone on an island, in comparison to other countries pre-pandemic, we were the 17th largest economy in the entire world. Now that’s incredible. However, 17 pre-pandemic, over the past year, we surpassed Mexico and Indonesia, we are now the 15th largest economy in the world, $1.1 trillion GDP,” Eagle said.
Before leaving the event, DeSantis previewed an upcoming special session that he said would begin next week and would focus on homeowners insurance.
The conference comes a day after DeSantis signed a bill to increase penalties for trafficking fentanyl and methamphetamine.
“We’re not going to want to put someone in jail for making a bad decision using a fentanyl,” DeSantis said Thursday in Lakeland. “I mean, it’s just it’s that’s not the right approach. But the people that are dealing this and knowingly put that out, you cannot do anything else but throw the book at them and so that’s what we’re gonna do.”