JOBS FAIL: Rickpubican policies – and their uncertainty – has resulted in near-record lows in consumer confidence amongst Floridians.

Under Rick Scott, Florida Suffers “From A Shocking Lack Of Confidence — Far Worse Than The Nation As A Whole.” Robert Trigaux, St. Petersburg Times Business Columnist, published an open letter to Governor Scott: “On this Labor Day weekend, eight months after you took office, your state stands on the brink of another recession. Your citizens are suffering from a shocking lack of confidence — far worse than the nation as a whole. The latest University of Florida survey finds consumer confidence among Floridians decreased to a near-record low in August. It has also dropped dramatically since January, when you officially became governor, from 77 to 62 last month, based on UF's confidence index. Some of this is your fault. Some of it is not. Either way, if you can't find ways to raise this state's abysmal level of confidence, Florida is in trouble. And you, sir, would very likely become a one-term governor.” [Column, St. Petersburg Times, 9/4/11]

While Virtually Every Economic Development Group Supports Developing Specific Industry Clusters In Florida, Rick Scott Is Withholding His Support. Robert Trigaux, St. Petersburg Times Business Columnist, continued: “You told us during a recent visit to this newspaper that you're not a big fan of supporting specific industry clusters to develop in Florida. You prefer market competition to pick which industries are winners. That sounds good, yet it's inconsistent. Every economic development group, from Enterprise Florida and the Florida Chamber of Commerce on down to regional groups and individual cities, have pretty much endorsed an industry cluster strategy. That lack of buy-in at the governor's level isn't helping the clarity of economic message in this state. If we're not in synch on ’clusters,’ then what should all those economic development folks be touting?” [Column, St. Petersburg Times, 9/4/11]

Florida Needs New Economic Growth Drivers. According to Manufacturing: An Economic Driver for Jobs and Florida's Future, Florida “needs to find some new economic growth drivers.” [Wells Fargo, “Florida Economic Outlook: September 2011,” 9/15/11] 

Florida’s Heavy Dependence On Construction And Tourism Is A Major Factor Restraining The State’s Recovery – The Second Slowest Economic Growth In Any Southeast State. “Florida’s economy grew at a sluggish 1.6 percent in 2010, which was the second slowest expansion for any Southeast state. The weakness reflects the hangover from the housing bust, as well as the state’s overreliance on tourism, retail trade and real estate development. … Florida’s historic and heavy dependence on construction and tourism has been a major factor restraining the state’s recovery.” [Wells Fargo, “Florida Economic Outlook: September 2011,” 9/15/11]

Venture Capital In Florida Is “Scarce.” Venture capital “remains so desperately scarce in this fourth-largest state.” [Column, St. Petersburg Times, 9/4/11]

Florida Lags Behind In Manufacturing Investment – State Has The Lowest Per-Capita Capital Expenditures On Manufacturing Among The 12 Southern States. A report “called Manufacturing: An Economic Driver for Jobs and Florida's Future, was written by Florida TaxWatch economist Jerry Parrish. It concludes: ‘Manufacturing is a significant provider of high-wage and high value-added jobs in the state; however, Florida is lagging behind in manufacturing investment due to significant, identifiable barriers.’ The report warns that Florida has the lowest per-capita capital expenditures on manufacturing among the 12 Southern states. It is losing to competing states in capital investment in manufacturing. Low capital investment results partially from the way the state taxes manufacturers, including their machinery and equipment. And Florida economic development incentive programs such as the Qualified Tax Incentive (QTI) or Capital Investment Tax Credit (CITC) are poorly targeted toward manufacturing and are ineffective at attracting many manufacturing industries, the report finds.” [Column, St. Petersburg Times, 9/18/11]

Medicaid Reimbursement Cuts Are Trimming Florida’s Healthcare Sector. “Unemployment benefits have been trimmed, and Medicaid reimbursements are being cut. The latter is also leading to some cuts in the healthcare sector.” [Wells Fargo, “Florida Economic Outlook: September 2011,” 9/15/11]