Gov. Ron DeSantis has extended a waiver on work search requirements for unemployment claims until August.
The Governor directed the Department of Economic Opportunity to continue to disregard both work search and registration requirements as jobless Floridians continue to wade through economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lawmakers were notified of the extension Wednesday evening,
In addition to easing the demands on unemployed individuals themselves, DeSantis suggested at the time it will lighten the load for a beleaguered state agency that needs to coral resources to process applications.
In press conferences, DeSantis said he’s fine extending the requirement if needed. Florida’s unemployment rate in June leapt up to 14.5% even as businesses began to reopen amid the pandemic. The DEO estimates 1.412 million Floridians remain out of work from a labor force of nearly 9.71 million. Economists expect a surge in employment reported for June, but one that could be short-lived as more businesses close down amid a surge in positive tests for COVID-19.
That certainly includes the Sunshine State, which saw more than 6,500 new cases added on Wednesday. That was despite a notable drop in the number of tests reported each day after record high positive test reports the week before.
The Governor has extended a number of breaks for Floridians in attempts to keep the foundation of Florida’s economy intact, but he’s often waited to the last moment to do so. He issued this extension with the start of the new month, shortly after extending a moratorium on business foreclosures hours before it was set to expire.
Some lawmakers suggested further steps needed to be taken. Rep. Anna Eskamani, an Orlando Democrat, on Twitter said she’s pressing the Department of Children and Families on extending welfare and food stamps for able-bodied adults.