My Florida C F O

Dear Fellow Floridians:

The peak of the holiday season is upon us and the Christmas spirit can be seen all around as we gather with our friends, families, and loved ones to enjoy life’s most simple treasures.Merry Christmas wreath As we find ourselves in the midst of the holiday rush, let us be forever reminded of the most-simple of gifts that life has to offer: the gift of giving and the gift of gratitude.

Remember to give. Even the smallest gesture could be the highlight of another person’s year. Lending a helping hand by donating to a food or toy drive, or volunteering at a local charity are easy ways to give back to the communities we live in. Regardless of where you will be this Christmas, remember the gift of giving is one that can break even the strongest barrier of unhappiness, and in a world where chaos and melancholy hold no geographic boundary, everyone has a reason to give.

Cherish every moment you can with those you hold closest to your heart, and open your heart to make room for those who are distant or strangers. Don’t be afraid to spread joy to those around you, even if a simple smile is all you have to offer. The gift of giving is one that we must never take for granted.

Be generous when possible and be grateful always. Be thankful for the gifts and treasures that have been awarded to you as an American. Take an extra second as you rush through your shopping to stop and thank a veteran, police officer, firefighter, serviceman or servicewoman, doctor or nurse. These are the very individuals who sacrifice their own holidays and family time to keep us safe in our communities. They protect us and they protect the very rights that enable us to enjoy the benefits of a free nation. Others around the world are not as fortunate.

These skills are life’s simple, yet most precious gifts. Use them wisely, but often as you celebrate your holiday traditions.

From my family to yours, merry Christmas and God bless.


Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

Florida's Bottom Line: Five-Year Anniversary

Florida's Bottom Line - Five-Year AnniversaryThis edition of Florida's Bottom Line marks the five-year anniversary of the publication’s start.

When first launched, this publication's goal was to provide current information and in-depth analysis on Florida’s economy to everyone in this great state. It was decided to embark on this journey because while these topics were vitally important to consumers, businesses, and community leaders, there was no such commentary or information readily available for consumption. With that goal in mind, the team has been steadfast and dedicated to providing the most relevant information on a quarterly basis. In total, 21 editions have been released, in addition to five special editions that have featured more than 80 guest author articles from scholars, business leaders, top government officials, and even a presidential candidate.

As is fitting for the five-year anniversary edition of Florida’s Bottom Line, the plan is to recap the journey that the economy has been through, the obstacles that have been overcome, the challenges that have been conquered, and the achievements that have been earned. While this edition may be focused on how far Florida has come as a state, there is still more work to be done, and the economy will continue to grow and build on the foundation so carefully cultivated in recent years.

Florida Economic Briefs

Small business optimism increased in November
According to a new report by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), small business optimism was up 3.5 points in November. Of the ten components that make up the index, eight increased, one decreased, and one remained unchanged.
Source: National Federation of Independent Business

Florida’s unemployment rate increased in November
Florida’s unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in November, up 0.1 percentage points from October (4.8 percent) and down 0.2 percentage points from November of last year (5.1 percent). The national unemployment rate was 4.6 percent in November.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics