Published: Mar 30, 2012 2:02 PM EDT
Updated: Mar 30, 2012 5:12 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Gov. Rick Scott is hoping for more good news in Florida's February unemployment figures.

The state's newest numbers are scheduled for release Friday, and the job issue is the hallmark of the Republican governor who made creating jobs his No. 1 priority.

Florida's unemployment dipped to 9.6 percent in January despite losing 38,600 jobs - the most of any state in January. Calculating those job losses, Florida has added an estimated 54,200 jobs during Scott's first 13 months in office. He campaigned on creating 700,000 new jobs in seven years.

Scott's bullish optimism on bringing in thousands of new jobs would appear to be benefitting President Obama's re-election bid. Obama had a wide lead in the most recent poll of Florida voters.

Florida's unemployment rate was 11.5 percent last February.