Unemployment: Application flow picks up with state system back on line
Unemployment claims jumped by 108,000 in past week in Florida. Image via AP.

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Two in 5 Floridians applying for unemployment are being turned down.

With Florida’s unemployment compensation application system going back on line Monday the state received another 61,000 new applications in one day and managed to pay just 6,000 more Monday after a weekend of clearing backlogs.

With the new claims, Florida now has received 1.94 million applications from Floridians who say they lost their jobs since the coronavirus crisis crashed the state’s economy around March 15, according to the latest numbers posted Tuesday by the Department of Economic Opportunity.

Over the weekend, while the state’s online application system, CONNECT, was offline, the state was able to process more than 280,000 claims and pay nearly 200,000 more people. Not only were new applications not coming in, the state actually reduced its official count of applications it had received by identifying and discarding duplicates.

The state now has processed 664,158 claims and sent unemployment compensation checks to 392,051 Floridians.

Roughly two of every five people applying for unemployment are being turned down.

Through Monday, the state has found 60% of applicants eligible, and 40% ineligible, roughly the same ratio the state carried through Sunday. When claims for state unemployment insurance — reemployment assistance — are rejected, people are advised to hold out hope for the federal CARES Act unemployment compensation program.

With the influx of new claims vastly outnumbering those newly processed, the state’s processing rate ticked down to 34% of submitted claims. The state’s payment rate remained steady at about 20%.

At the same time, Florida made no progress in confirming unique claims among those submitted, That number remained at 824,412. Florida now has processed about 81% of the confirmed unique claims, up from 79% the day before; the percentage of unique claims that have been paid rose to 48%, up from 47% the day before.

Unemployed Floridians now have received more than a half-billion dollars in compensation checks, with most of that coming through the federal CARES Act. Through Monday, federal payments have totaled $322 million, and state payments, $201 million.

The number of applications red-flagged for possible fraud dropped a couple of hundred, to 22,986.

Among the 463,309 initial claimants Florida had logged through the week of April 4, the hardest hit economic sector has been accommodation and food services, accounting for about 25% of all the unemployment compensation claims. Other hard hit sectors include administration, support, waste management and remediation, 11%; retail, 9%; health care and social assistance, 9%; arts, entertainment and recreation, 4% and professional, scientific and technical services, 3%.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]


  • Nilita

    April 28, 2020 at 2:22 pm

    The site is still not working. We have spent 7 hours, just today and it keeps kicking my son out mid process. He has been unemployed since 3/12/20 and still hasn’t been able to file for unemployment due to the site doesn’t work.

    • tom

      April 29, 2020 at 1:54 pm

      First thing you should try ,is putting his name in the appropriate spot, before you hit the submit button. Second thing is to ask him if he really had a job.

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