unemployment

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

Employers added a record 4.8 million jobs last month, as the U.S. economy continued to slowly bounce back from a deep and painful coronavirus recession. The unemployment rate dipped to 11.1%.

Job growth accelerated from May, when revised figures show employers added 2.7 million jobs.

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Braving the mid-morning heat, a small group of protesters gathered at the Historic Capitol Wednesday, to tell Florida leadership the state’s unemployment system still needs fixing.

When Judy Tanzosch was furloughed from her job in March, she started trying to apply for benefits on the state’s CONNECT system.

“My situation, I applied on March 27, or I started to apply – and it took 45 days for me to be able to actually get the application completed in CONNECT, because the CONNECT system would consistently boot me out in various stages of the process,” Tanzosch told WFSU.

Gov. Ron DeSantis dismissed as partisan a request Monday by two Democratic U.S. senators for a federal investigation related to Florida’s handling of unemployment benefits.

A few businesses are reporting signs of progress even in hard-hit industries.
npr

The U.S. unemployment rate fell unexpectedly in May to 13.3% — still on par with what the nation witnessed during the Great Depression — as states loosened their coronavirus lockdowns and businesses began recalling workers.

The government said Friday that the economy added 2.5 million jobs last month, driving unemployment down from 14.7% in April.

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Updated at 8:47 a.m. ET

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed unemployment to its highest level since the Great Depression, but the pace of layoffs has been easing. And there are now some signs that the job market could slowly start to recover.

The Labor Department says another 1.87 million people filed claims for unemployment insurance last week. That's down 249,000 from the previous week. While still very high by historical standards, the number has been declining steadily from a peak of 6.8 million the week ending March 28.

Disney World workers protested Florida's unemployment system from their homes across Orlando.
Unite Here / WMFE

Pointing to the constitutional separation of powers, a Leon County circuit judge Thursday refused to order the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to take steps to “fix” the state’s much-maligned unemployment compensation system to process and pay claims.

Preschool teacher Lainy Morse has been out of work for more than two months. But the Portland, Ore., child care center where she worked is considering a reopening. Morse says she is dreading the idea, as much as she loves the infants and toddlers for which she cared.

"They always have snotty faces. It's just one cold after another," she says. "It feels just like an epicenter for spreading disease. And it feels really scary to go back to that."

A data breach has occurred at Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity. The Department says it notified individuals that were part of the incident associated with unemployment claims. Exactly how many people are impacted has not been released.

In a letter to the department's head, Dem. Senator Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) asked how many people are affected, what information was released, how the breach occurred, and what is being done to make sure it won't happen again.

A new survey shows one out of four people in the state have had their work hours cut because of the pandemic - and nearly 18 percent have been laid off from work.

The Sunshine State Survey of 600 people was done by Nielsen and the University of South Florida. According to USF assistant professor Joshua Scacco, six out of 10 respondents said they are concerned about the effect the economic shutdown is having on their finances.

The new normal began on a somber evening in March.

When Rodney Mayo had to lay off more than 650 employees from his 17 restaurants and bars, following Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order to suspend dine-in operations, he feared that many of his employees — which amounted to 1,800 families — would have trouble feeding themselves. And he was right.

Hundreds of thousands laid-off workers who can’t get their unemployment money from the state of Florida got more bad news Wednesday. A state judge says she had no authority to order the immediate payment of jobless claims.

Governor Ron DeSantis has called it “a jalopy” and “a clunker,” and says it was “in tatters.” He’s talking, of course, about Florida’s online system for handling claims for unemployment benefits, which cost taxpayers $78 million and still doesn’t work right.

Half the country has been personally economically impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and overwhelming numbers of Americans do not think schools, restaurants or sporting events with large crowds should reopen until there is further testing, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

President Trump does not fare very well as far as his handling of the pandemic goes. Most Americans, except Republicans, disapprove of the job he's doing, and there are massive divides by gender and educational level.

Florida Democrats want federal auditors to investigate the state’s flawed unemployment system and a backlog they say ranks among the worst in the country.

Governor Ron DeSantis says roughly 300,000 unemployment claims were processed over the weekend, as the state Department of Economic Opportunity’s system was down.

A new survey finds nearly one in four people in the Tampa Bay region have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic. The poll from the Tampa Bay Partnership is part of an ongoing project.

In an effort to speed the processing of an enormous backlog of unemployment claims in Florida’s system, Governor Ron DeSantis has waived a requirement that recipients recertify their status.

First-time unemployment claims this week appear headed toward a record.

During a mid-day appearance Friday in Jacksonville, Gov. Ron DeSantis said 225,755 initial claims had been filed this week.

As the number of Floridians filing for assistance skyrockets to half a million, the state is scrambling to fortify its beleaguered unemployment system. That means added servers to support more online users, and state agencies lending employees to help the effort, according to Governor Ron DeSantis.

A total of 227,000 Floridians filed for unemployment last week.

That’s according to new figures from the U.S. Department of Labor and marks a more than 300 percent increase over the week before.

Unemployment claims in Florida surged to 227,000 for the week ending March 28, according to the latest statistics on Thursday from the U.S. Department of Labor.

For many of the people who've lost jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic, getting through the state's unemployment system hasn't just been difficult, it's felt impossible.

Order Aimed At Speeding Up Unemployment Benefits

Apr 2, 2020

Florida has lifted a requirement that people qualifying for unemployment benefits must wait a week before their first checks are sent.

In the wake of the coronavirus, Florida’s troubled unemployment office has been crippled by a barrage of applications that topped 317,000 applications in just the last 10 days.

Those problems did not come without warnings.

Gov. Ron DeSantis says the reading program will include monthlong summer programs for kindergarten to fifth grade students who have been identified as being poor readers.
Governor's Press Office

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday backed ongoing efforts to handle the surge of jobless claims caused by the novel coronavirus, as Democrats said more action is needed because of the state’s historically troubled unemployment-compensation system.

A total of 74,021 Floridians filed for unemployment last week, 11 times more than filed the week before. That's according to new figures from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The COVID-19 pandemic is creating unprecedented demands for help on virtually every government service in Florida. At the top of the list is the state unemployment assistance program, which is widely regarded as one of the stingiest of any state. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis says he wants to look into removing some of the requirements for collecting unemployment benefits as layoffs pile up in response to concerns about the coronavirus.

On paper, Florida’s economy has recovered since the great recession. But that progress isn’t obvious looking at the state’s public assistance enrollment.