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Scott touts job numbers, signs tax break in Tampa

Published:   |   Updated: May 17, 2013 at 05:02 PM
TAMPA -

Florida's jobless rate for April dropped to 7.2 percent, numbers touted Friday by Gov. Rick Scott during a visit to a Tampa to sign a bill that creates a tax break for state manufacturers.

Scott says the new unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since September 2008.

The state's jobless rate in March was 7.5 percent.
 
Florida added 17,000 jobs in April and 119,100 in the past year. More than half of April's job gains were in construction. The state has gained 15,500 construction positions in the past year. Jobs in trade, transportation and utilities have grown by more than 40,000 in the past year. The category includes retail jobs.

Scott called the latest figures "great news for Florida families."

The unemployment figures were announced on a new Twitter account, @ItsWorkingFL, set up by the governor's administration.

Scott was at Heat Pipe Technology in East Tampa to sign the manufacturing bill, one of his top priorities this year.

Heat Pipe Technology, which recently relocated from Gainesville, makes dehumidifier heat pipes and hot and cold transfer pipes for commercial and institutional-sized air-conditioning systems.

The new law exempts manufacturers from having to pay sales taxes on equipment purchases for three years. The tax break starts in April 2014 and runs until April 2017.

The law also creates a nonprofit corporation to oversee money awarded to the state from lawsuits connected to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Some have raised legal questions, however, because the bill did not pass by a supermajority. Top legislators, however, have insisted that the supermajority vote was not needed.

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