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Op-Ed by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross: Trump Administration is Building a Better Economy for Florida and the Country

Today,‭ ‬I am honored to be in the beautiful city of Jacksonville while I meet with local business leaders from Duval and Nassau Counties to hear their thoughts on the direction of the nation as well as the local economy.‭ ‬As Secretary of Commerce,‭ ‬I oversee diverse areas from the‭ ‬2020‭ ‬Decennial Census and‭ ‬space commerce to trade negotiations and‭ ‬Federal weather forecasting,‭ ‬which is especially critical during hurricane season.‭ ‬For the past two years,‭ ‬we have worked to ensure continued‭ ‬job creation,‭ ‬economic growth,‭ ‬sustainable development,‭ ‬and improved living standards for all Americans from coast to coast‭ – ‬and we have been highly successful at accomplishing those goals.‭

Under the tireless leadership of President Donald J.‭ ‬Trump,‭ ‬my Department and the rest of the administration have been acting to fuel a vast economic resurgence.‭ ‬Nearly everything about the latest period of economic growth is unprecedented.‭ ‬More Americans are working now than ever before in the history of the country.‭ ‬Over the past year,‭ ‬approximately‭ ‬2.5‭ ‬million jobs were created,‭ ‬and,‭ ‬in‭ ‬2018,‭ ‬the number of new job openings outpaced the number of unemployed workers for the first time since the job openings‭’ ‬data was compiled.‭ ‬In the longest streak in nearly‭ ‬50‭ ‬years,‭ ‬the overall unemployment rate has remained at or below‭ ‬4‭ ‬percent for the past‭ ‬12‭ ‬months.

As important as creating new jobs is the amount of income workers are taking home.‭ ‬Over the last‭ ‬12‭ ‬months,‭ ‬the average American’s nominal hourly wage increased by‭ ‬3.4‭ ‬percent,‭ ‬matching the fastest pace of growth since‭ ‬2009.‭

With the help of President Trump,‭ ‬his pro-jobs agenda,‭ ‬and leaders like Governor DeSantis and Mayor Curry,‭ ‬Florida is enjoying its own economic boon.‭ ‬From January‭ ‬2017‭ ‬to February‭ ‬2019,‭ ‬the President’s entire time in office,‭ ‬Florida’s employment swelled,‭ ‬growing by over‭ ‬340,000,‭ ‬shrinking the unemployment rate from‭ ‬4.6‭ ‬percent to‭ ‬3.5‭ ‬percent.‭ ‬Virtually‭ ‬10‭ ‬million Floridians are employed,‭ ‬and,‭ ‬as of the third quarter of‭ ‬2018,‭ ‬statewide real GDP was on pace to grow‭ ‬4.2‭ ‬percent over the four quarters of the calendar year.‭

Nestled in the key northeast corner of Florida,‭ ‬Duval County is matching economic fortunes of the state,‭ ‬becoming a hub for growth.‭ ‬The unemployment rate in Duval fell from‭ ‬4.9‭ ‬percent in January‭ ‬2017‭ ‬to‭ ‬3.9‭ ‬percent in January‭ ‬2019,‭ ‬while‭ ‬employment increased by‭ ‬13,000‭ ‬during the same time period.‭

Thank you for all you have done and will continue to do to rebuild the American economy.

Leadership